28 June 2014
Arthur Pita’s The World’s Greatest Show
The Never-Ending Dance Marathon of 1935
During the American depression in the 1930’s Dance Marathon’s were organised as entertainment, where couples danced almost non-stop for hundreds of hours competing for prize money, the longest recorded Marathon lasted 3,780 hours. The World’s Greatest Show is a dance-theatre work exploring this phenomenon, choreographed by Arthur Pita with music by Frank Moon and a live jazz band.
In June 2013 I was invited by Arthur Pita to draw the show in R & D at Greenwich Dance, with the working title Nobody’s Baby, 10 performers danced for 100 hours keeping to the original marathon rules. Sometimes I arrived to draw at 10.00 am, sometimes at 11.00 pm, it was an exceptional week of physical and mental strength combined with extraordinary good will from the performers.
These drawings are from the performance on Friday. I drew many drawings during R&D but they now feel irrelevant. I watched with daughter Gaby who said at the close of the show: “That was Brilliant” I couldn’t agree more