PROLOGUE - Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare
"Two households, both alike in dignity
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene),
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-marked love
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which, if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend."

La Calandra, Cardinal Bernardo Dovizi da Bibbiena
"Fessenio: Haven’t you ever died before?
Calandro: No! Not that I know of. And you? have you ever died before?
Fessenio: Tons of times. Tons and tons of times.
Calandro: Does it hurt much?
Fessenio: It’s easier than falling asleep."

Hercules, Disney (1997)
The underworld is a big river
And it’s where all the souls go
It’s really big and goes on forever
Sometimes you have to go there and bring a soul back
Like in that movie
And you gotta be careful because if a witch cuts your string, you die too!
So it helps if you’re magic, I guess.
Like us!

Dinosaurs in Love, Fenn Rosenthal ft. Tom Rosenthal
"Dinosaurs eating people
Dinosaurs in love
Dinosaurs having a party
They eat fruit and cucumber
They fell in love
(What comes next?)
They say thank you
Then a big bang came and they died
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs fell in love
But they didn’t say goodbye
But they didn’t say goodbye"

Popular Kid’s Songs / Sayings / Games
Mama had a baby and its head popped off!
Cinderella dressed in yella went upstairs to kiss her fella
What time is it, Mr. Wolf?
Ring Around the Rosey

Madeline (1989 - 2001)
We reference the show Madeline, which is commonly perceived as a show about Madeline, an orphan who lives in an orphanage in Paris. Fun fact - according to the author, Madeline is not an orphan, nor is she French (shh… we won’t tell if you don’t).

Lullaby, Ben Caplan
The market is empty
The butcher’s gone home
The candle’s half spent - soon the light will be gone"

The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called the Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable."

The Corpse Bride (2005)
Emma: When you die, you get a maggot. This is my maggot.
Ella: Nuh-uh. It’s supposed to be behind your eye, like in that movie.

In that movie, all the skeletons live together, and the guy has his dog turn into a skeleton and they get to hang out forever.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 - 2003)
Season 5, Episode 16 - The Body
Anya: Are they gonna cut the body open?
Willow: Oh my God! Would you just... stop talking? Just... shut your mouth! Please!
Anya: What am I doing?
Willow: How can you act like that?
Anya: Am I supposed to be changing my clothes a lot? Is that the helpful thing to do?
Xander: Guys—
Willow: The way you behave—
Anya: Nobody will tell me.
Willow: Because it's not okay for you to be asking these things!
Anya (crying): But I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's, there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore! It's stupid! It's mortal and stupid! And, and Xander's crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why.


A Tale on Two Wheels, Gale Force Theatre
Huge thanks to Lily Falk & Franiska Glen, performers and creators, for the inspiration, mentorship, and support in the development and distribution of THE SKELETON DANCE.

Peppa Pig (2004 - 2021)
We were inspired to play with the irreverent and quippy way that Peppa Pig communicates with her friends.

Calvin and Hobbes (1985 - 1995)

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The Skeleton Dance began development in 2019 as a vocal masque assignment in theatre school between emerging artists Ella MacDonald (she/her) and Emma James (they/she). Thanks to the support of their faculty and many other community partners, The Skeleton Dance is able to take on new life while it explores death in a new way.

This project is possible thanks to the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

The creation, development, and presentation of The Skeleton Dance has taken place in K’jipuktuk, the ancestral and unceded land of the Mi’kmaq people.

© 2022  Ella & Emma

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