Swimming with My Mother

July 11 - July 22, 2012 in the Dowling Studio

A young boy takes a lesson from his mother, a swimming coach. Life passes in laps, things change and the boy teaches his mother to dance. As their own stories intertwine and swell like a rising tide, the bonds of familial love are revealed to the sultry tones of Nat King Cole. Performed by acclaimed Irish choreographer David Bolger (H.M.S. Pinafore) and his 78-year-old mother Madge, this award-winning production is told with affectionate humor, as a gentle and joyful celebration of the things we pass on and the things we inherit. 

The evening ends with the short dance film Deep End Dance. It features a fully dressed man as he is pushed into a swimming pool by his mother. He brushes himself off and begins dancing underwater, always aware that she’s watching. After a while she joins him in the turquoise dappled waters and they perform a duet of playful somersaults and pirouettes.


"Staged with ingenious simplicity, Swimming with My Mother is a lovely depiction of a parent-child bond" - The Times

"A gorgeous duet that induces both tears and laughter" - The Scotsman

"A gentle, joyful, intergenerational gem" - The Shimmy Skinny

"...very gently disarms you, warms you with its affectionate humor and beguiles you with the mood of shared reverie... what really shines out is a deeply affecting bond of love, revealed in a tenderly whimsical, unmawkish way" - The Herald

Run time: approximately one hour with no intermission.
Seating in the Dowling Studio is general admission and begins 30 minutes before curtain. Please note there will be no late seating and no re-entry for Swimming with My Mother.


Swimming with my Mother
Swimming with my Mother
Swimming with my Mother
Production photos by Maria Falconer; publicity still by Clive Welsh

For more information or to purchase tickets to Swimming with my Mother at the Guthrie, call our Box Office at 612.377.2224. 

VIDEO: Watch Deep End Dance, an award-winning short video featuring David and Madge that will be screened following performances of Swimming with my Mother



StarTribune: In the swim, as a family


StarTribune: Irish mom and son in the swim
Lavender: Sublime swimming show touches on the ethereal and sacred

Programming in the Dowling Studio is sponsored by Digital River.