Edinburgh Festival to stage 4hr dance marathon
This year's fringe Edinburgh festival fringe sees the arrival of an eagerly anticipated show that is literally an endurance test: a four-hour competitive dance marathon. Its most important rule is: keep your feet moving.
According to the creators of the piece, the audience's sheer exhaustion is part of the point: "There is a natural fatigue that sets in after about three hours," said Stephen O'Connell, one of the members of the Canadian artists' collective Bluemouth Inc.
On the opening night the audience was put through a registration process – including signing a waiver in the case of injury – and given a bib with a competitor's number on it. Taken to the marathon venue, they were then allotted partners at random, a handful of whom were the company's so-called "embedded dancers".
The piece is in part inspired by the dance marathons that became popular in the US during the Depression, during which competitors would collapse from exhaustion, a phenomenon that formed the backdrop to Sydney Pollack's film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?.