Dance Anybody Waitin'?Dance
The Famous Spiegeltent, in front of the Arts Centre, February 7.
Paula (Paula O'Reilly) is “on the pull” and looking for a man. Don't worry, she's not too picky. Most of the blokes in the audience of Anybody Waitin' will do just fine for Paula – unless her three dancing mates get in there first that is.
The premise may be flimsy, but the narrative in Anybody Waitin' is just comedic filler between choreographed dance breaks. Irish group Ponydance have ruthlessly mined the annals of pop culture for material, stringing together jazz hands, swan dives, hip thrusts, break-dancing and a copious number of gyrating booty-shakes into one outlandish, fist-pumping extravaganza – a shamelessly awesome and daggy dance party set to the kind of upbeat music that you can really sing along to.
Those who fear audience participation may quake at the possibility of winding up onstage as Paula's chosen squeeze (or worse – as one of her backup dancers) but this only makes for pretty humorous viewing for the rest of us. A show like this one depends on a good-humoured audience willing to play along, and fortunately this quartet led by Leonie McDonagh seems practised at disarming a crowd with ruthless flirtation and choreographed slapstick.
With impressively high energy and really really high kicks, Ponydance is leaving everything on the dance floor. Whether Paula actually leaves the floor with a date remains to be seen – but judging from her moves, I like her chances.