A thought experiment: The Choreography of Cooking (a feast)

I spent the last few days getting ready to host my first Thanksgiving dinner. This American holiday is one of my favourites; I love the long, lazy hours spent draped in the arms of a dining room chair surrounded by family and friends, the silly – and serious – traditions kept through the years and of course the seemingly never ending indulgence of filling up your dinner plate more times than is most likely advisable.

Choreography, for me, is about composition and creating meaning – either explicitly or abstractly.

The signs and signifiers of Thanksgiving may have been different than the ones I’d use in performance but the attention to space and meaning making were the same.

  • Playworld: inviting home, long dining table dressed formally for the occasion with cranberries, pumpkins and decorative squirrels
  • Actions: hand drawn turkeys (childhood tradition), pumpkin pie and Turkey (Thanksgiving doesn’t exist without both in my book), a glass of bubbly raised with dear friends to begin the meal
  • Performers: 7 adults and 3 children…. Okay, okay,  so I admit this attempt at comparison isn’t watertight but somewhere my attraction and respect for tradition and ritual is married – I am sure of it! – with my choreographic eye and love of the theatrical.



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