Cocoon Central Dance Team unleashes comedy, dance, and bodily functions at Parkway

Cocoon Central Dance Team

Cocoon Central Dance Team Mike Dempsey

There are a lot of great comedians who will come through town this month. But how many of them can dance? That’s not a rhetorical question. The answer is three.

Parkway Theater

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Sunita Mani, Tallie Medel, and Eleanore Pienta make up the Cocoon Central Dance Team. The alt-comedy trio will make their Twin Cities debut this week at the Parkway as part of the newly formed Spit Take Comedy Series.

“Never have I ever,” says Pienta when asked if she’s visited Minnesota. “A lot of good friends come from Minneapolis, so I’m quite honored to perform here.”

“First time of thousands to come,” adds Medel.

Equal parts dance, comedy, and dance-comedy, Cocoon Central have built a cult following in New York and Los Angeles, with each member finding her own solo success (they’ve appeared individually on G.L.O.W., Inside Amy Schumer, and Broad City). Last winter, however, the group made waves with the release of their first film, Snowy Bing Bongs Across the North Star Combat Zone, which gathered huge buzz online and at independent film fests across the country (you can watch the absurdity in its entirety online here).

“It’s a delight to be such a simply absurd delight to our audience,” says Mani. “We’ve been growing as actors and performers individually, which expands our group’s possibilities. We keep that ‘anything goes’ energy on stage and play with the spirit of the unexpected.”

The physical comedy has a Three Stooges-like feel. But to the women on stage, it goes deeper than just fart jokes (though there are plenty of those, too).

“Cocoon’s work can be incredibly relevant to essentially everybody because we are goofing around with our bodies, and everybody has a body,” explains Pienta. “We don’t take our bodies too seriously. In fact, we relish in their oddities.”

As for this weekend’s show, the Cocoon crew is very tight-lipped about the specifics of what to expect. However, there just might be some early holiday cheer at the Parkway.

“Not to give too much away, but we have a dance that gets us in the holiday spirit that we will for sure be performing in Minnesota,” says Pienta.

Adds Mani, “We initially choreographed that piece in July for this monthly show back in New York because we thought it was funny to introduce Christmas in the summertime. We’re… very funny.”

While all three are quick to gush about their love of performing together, this weekend’s show is special because their busy schedules don’t allow them to be on the same stage at the same time as much as they’d like.

“At least half of every work meeting is catching up on each other’s lives and families,” says Medel. “Sunita and I married our husbands this past year, so the weddings made it possible to be in the same room at least a few more times. Guess we’ll have to just get divorced and remarried. Whatever it takes to hang out, you know?”


Cocoon Central Dance Team
Parkway Theater
Doors 7 p.m., Show 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 8
$18 advance, $22 day of show