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Introduction

Arthur Pita explores the disturbing phenomenon of 'dance marathons', in which couples laid low by the American Great Depression would dance for thousands of hours in the hope of winning prize money.

Background

Arthur Pita's new work Nobody’s Baby – The World's Greatest Show is inspired by a compelling and disturbing phenomenon seen in 1930s America. Dance marathons were astonishing human endurance contests in which couples danced almost non-stop for hundreds of hours competing for prize money. The longest recorded marathon lasted for 3,780 hours.

A live jazz band plays music by Frank Moon (The Metamorphosis) in a transformed Paul Hamlyn Hall. Arthur Pita paints a dark, dreamlike picture of these desperate – and enormously popular – ‘entertainments’.