What Have I Got To Show For It?

Premiered Bunker Theatre, London (July 2017), and supported by Sheffield Theatres. Work in progress performance at Battersea Arts Center, London (May 2017). Developed with the support of Roehampton Dance.

Choreography and performance: Sam Pardes
Dramaturgy: Paul Hughes

A tap show about debt. What Have I Got To Show For It? combines a confessional therapy session with a professional pitch, and questions the tangibility of my experience, education, and continued efforts to participate in the contemporary dance scene (in which tap dance barely features). How can one finish something, or move on from past experience? How can I account for my history to an audience?  Explicitly painting the relation between financial pressures and mental health, I attempt to convince myself, my audience and the institution of my worth as an artist.

“[…] an unsettling autobiographical tap solo. Pardes’ natural wit and humour creates a paradox as she describes her constant battle with the dance industry. Her brutally honest confessions about her anxiety, panic disorder, and financial pressures are sprinkled with some showbiz razzle dazzle. The phrase ‘the show must go on’ comes to mind but with rather darker connotations.”
– Maria Hardcastle, DanceScene

“[…] as she prepares she works a seam of dogged humour with impeccable timing that keeps us laughing. She complains of aching feet, drinks some water, does a sound test and nonchalantly starts a routine that becomes the soundtrack to her life story. [‘Budget Dance’] is just the prelude to her highly-charged and provocative message on the gap between the expectations of an arts education and its devastating economic and health implications. […] Her mother was right (‘My baby’s a star’) but it’s sobering to consider the cost Pardes has incurred to put on this show.”
– Nicholas Minns, Writing about dance

Images from performance at Bunker Theatre, London, July 2017.


Photos by Cher Nicolette Ho

Images from work-in-progress presentation at Battersea Arts Centre, London, May 2017.

Images and video from research and development at Guerrilla Art Lab, Nottingham, April 2017.