Dance Peas is half dance piece and half world record attempt. Figs in Wigs each attempt to break the world record for eating the most peas with a cocktail stick in three minutes. The choreography becomes the physical and visual stopwatch for the three minute pea-eating competition. The current record of 211 was set by performance artist Mat Hand in 2001.
Dance Peas is competitive; it is serious in it’s attempt to break the record and as the piece progresses it subtly hints at rivalries between the performers. At face value it may all just seem like a pointless game, but beneath the surface there are darker themes at play; the repetitive form of the show and the fearless determination of its performers is reminiscent of popular reality television shows. Dance Peas is our way of highlighting the ridiculousness of the capitalist desire to succeed, of modern society’s relentless struggle to triumph over failure. Winner takes all. Losers will be pea-nalised.
The discovery that the current world record holder was also an artist added a new dimension to our research and caused questions concerning the value of art to resurface. If Mat Hand has already broken the world record in the name of art, does this reify or nullify our work? Dance Peas’s appropriation of his work reaffirms his intent whilst continuing the competition. Interestingly, although we are competing with him for the title of record holder, artistically we are both on the same side. We have recently contacted Mat Hand (twice) about a potential collaboration.
As yet we have received no response...
Dance Peas has a more relaxed, interactive sister currently called 'Ineractive Dance Peas' in which members of the public are invited to try smash the world record. Whilst they gobble for glory we keep time by dancing.
‘I think all participation should be like this - the lack of real competition paired with the conscious repetition lent the whole scene a zen-like hypnotism.’ Run Riot