My friends, Melissa Hudson, and Jeremy Townsend, teamed up to present “Dessert First” at CounterPULSE in SOMA (between 9th and 10th on Mission), an “innovative fusion of food and contemporary dance”. The performance kicked off with Melissa dancing to Eartha Kitt, dressed in a 50s reminiscent apron and skirt), preparing a batch of brownies. As the dance piece progressed, the audience connected with its emotion as Melissa’s character became more and more zealous over the thought of devouring the brownies and finally deriving so much ecstasy from consuming the chocolate. The second piece centered around coffee, set to a sexy Brazilian song, and featured 4 female dancers. Instead of evoking laughter as the first had done, the audience sighed in awe at the beauty and elegance of the piece.
Another notable piece was called “Potato Dreams”, performed by Bibliodance. The music was Danny Elfman’s theme for “Peewee’s Big Adventure” and this was definitely a fun piece, depicting a girl in a straitjacket, presumbly in a padded solitary confinement cell. A projector threw the image of what seemed to be a cooked turkey with legs, and the music stopped to a halt with the scratch of a record. Then came out a potato with legs who danced and pranced to the Peewee Big Adventure theme! It was hilarious! The girl in the straitjacket mimicked the potato and eventually 4 potatoes appeared onstage. At one point, we were teased with the prospect of 20 potatoes taking stage with a can can, but instead the girl escapes with three potato dancers, leaving one of the potatoes to take her place in the cell!
At each intermission, or “pause”, Jeremy Townsend of Ghetto Gourmet, dished out appetizers that went with the dance pieces, such as potato empanadas, and chocolate brownies. At the second pause, Melissa called on classical guitarist, Fred Boette, to do a little bit of improv. She challenged Fred and her dance troupe to perform improv according to the food they were given to taste, and she challenged the audience to guess the food based on the performance. The samples ranged from pungent garlic, to honey. The hardest to guess was pluot, and pineapple (you’d think a hula would give it away!).