Dachshund UN at World Stage

Friday nearly killed me! I hustled from one meeting to the next, 6am until the late afternoon on full speed with no stopping me. Shortly after 5pm I found myself cursing at Union Station, vexed by the TTC I opted to power walk under the Gardiner Expressway (certain to avoid the crumble of concrete overhead) in search of the Harbourfront Centre.

I arrived at the Enwave Theatre and picked up a media pass, bursting back into winters wicked wind I hustled over to Paws Way where the all star canine cast of Dachshund UN assembled on a red carpet for a quirky photo op. What a treat to have backstage access privileges to these adorable dogs.

I rushed back to the theatre to meet Erica, a dog owner/lover and my adorable date for the evening. The foyer of the theatre was packed as the performance was first come first serve. Toronto’s dog lovers were certainly out in droves eager to explore Australian artist Bennett Miller’s performance installation Dachshund UN.

I had been asked to live tweet the show for World Stage so hopped into the theatre to set up a laptop before the audience assembled itself into the space. Moments later the room was filled with excitement as orchestral music prepared guests for a wee bit of pomp. A quick narrative by iPhone’s infamous SIRI encouraged guests to take pictures and share their experience via social media. I really appreciate how World Stage is charging forward in this manner, encouraging the observer to showcase and chronicle their experience as it unfolds.

And then all of a sudden the curtain lifted, the audience gasped and giggled as a gaggle of Dachshund’s stared back at them. The performance installation restages the UN Commission on Human Rights with the help of a life-sized model of the UN office in Geneva. Featuring dozens of specifically recruited Dachshunds from over 24 cities across Ontario, Quebec and New York, the show demonstrates how world leaders play ball when stakes are high. Unique among breeds for their racial diversity, Dachshund ambassadors underscore the trials and achievements of the international community by striving for unity and justice in a dog-eat-dog world. During the hour-long performance dogs barked, whined, sniffed each others bums, flopped their ears over their desks and licked their chops.

The piece is entirely interpretive. Take what you want from it. After the show ended the audience had an opportunity to sit through a Talk Show with the creator of the work. Some just sat their scratching their head while others asked more pressing questions about the anxiety of the dogs who clearly looked a little socially awkward on stage. A few dug deep inquiring about deliberate political narratives, clearly yearning for some eureka revelation. While each individual who sat through the show left with their own personal take aways, one thing is for certain: Dachshund’s are adorable.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a reply