As it turns out, my intuitive intelligence was in hyper-drive this weekend when I decided to bartend at BOUNCE Around the Building!. The truism that John Q responds to a bartender much like s/he would a Father Confessor was born out on Saturday night. It was a good spot for a co-producer to be planted for the evening. Incognito, hiding behind a bow tie and (I’d like to think) radiant smile, people bared their souls throughout the evening; “What a great event”, “How ingenious!” or “It’s functioning so
smoothly.” There were a few people, one woman in particular, when shortly after arriving and discovering how the whole thing worked came straight to the bar said, “This is a great idea, but I’m just not into elbowing my way into the table to get a ball so I can see a show…” and then promptly left, the fog enveloping her just outside the door.
You see, the way it worked was thus: there were ten short dance pieces scattered through the building (in stairwells, in hallways, the kitchen, even in a crawl space). The shows started at different times and were given several performances over a two-hour period. The lobby served as a sort of departure lounge and from bowls of differently coloured balls on a table, the audience selected a ball and waited for their usher with an identical ball to assemble everyone and depart to the performance.
The advance work for the event was daunting. I participated in meetings where timetables and logistics were written into in spreadsheets and then re-examined. Every possible variable was considered; for example the complication arising when it was noted that one performer was dancing in two shows. But Jason Dubois (my colleague at Dance Victoria) and Treena Stubel (founder and curator of the BOUNCE cabarets) rose to the challenge! (Stubel herself was the dancer performing in the crawl space mentioned above on top of overseeing all things artistic.)
The result was an evening where a hundred strangers flowed in and out of shows, down the stairs into the lobby, around the table, out of the office door, through the hall at the end of the lobby and back…where eventually they were all subsumed into the larger mass. The lobby was a whirling, gyrating, undulating crowd caught in a dance of its own making. It was invigorating. Yahoo Jason and Treena!