Family Dinner

family dinner - july 9 - 17

Family Dinner is an immersive and intimate dining performance– a cumulative project that invites the public to dine with performers. The work is at once a performance, rehearsal, embodied recording, a choreographic exploration of a shared meal and conversation with dinner guests. Derived from essence; essence of habit, social cues and personal histories, the work functions as a palimpsest – each performance written upon the one before – leaving its trace within the shared vocabulary of the performers. Inspired by the copy-left movement, family dining rituals and gestures are gathered from performers and guests, personal stories and physical memories are recalled and reinterpreted as a means to continuously develop the work.

Family Dinner: The Lexicon
The Lexicon is the choreographic culling of each Family Dinner performance to date, created for the stage. Sourcing from the body of the Family Dinner performers as an imperfect recording device, the quotidian dining gestures are multiplied and re-organized; rendering them into a tight score and presenting them back to the viewer.

Sit with head tilted towards right, hands in lap
Blink 3 times and do a short silent chuckle
Turn head to left then back to centre (long back of the neck)
Blink 2 times and slightly turn head to right then back to centre then right again
Small chuck on an inhale
Larger chuckle throwing head back
Look to slightly to right
Look profile to right
Look to left nod and smile
Small chuckle on an inhale
Look to right, quickly look to left
Lift eyes and chin to look at ceiling and bring them back down to centre as you look slightly left
Look up to the right diagonal leading with eyes and lifting chin
Tilt head to left
Blink 5 times as you slowly smile, then look concerned, then smile again
Look left and inhale chuckle
Lower chin and look over tops of eyes
Take a drink of water
As you put the glass down look to the right
With both hands move plate slightly forward
As taking hands off plate
putting back in lap
look up on a diagonal (1 o’clock) with whole head
Look right, then centre
Blinking twice
Look back to the right (slight diagonal in terms of trajectory)
then profile to the right
Lower eyes

family dinner - july 9 - 6

Grab Bottle w/right hand
Look at Bottle
Feign Twisting w/ Left – Look Left / Lean back
Eyes to Billy
Put Back with right, try twice
Look at Billy seating – 3 Seconds
Survey Table – 5 sec
Left Elbow across front
Grab Glass w/right and drink while looking at corner
Give eyebrows to corner and stare – 5 sec
Put down drink on top left of plate / open mouth
Grab Napkins and separate
Pass some to Tiff
Use two hands to pass rest to Ali (look at napkins)
Almost fold fingers, don’t
Forearms on table, look at billy
Wobble Head – 3 sec
Look at Tiff
Sigh and look back to plate – 6 sec
Quick look at dave (when he holds bottle offering to billy)
Slow look to Justine as dave pours to Ali
Back to plate, back to Billy, back to plate
Billy drinks and I smile – Stay stoned) – 6 sec, then chuckle
Survey table
Drink with left hand, put back
Serve potatoes with right hand, put back spoon
Adjust in chair while tonguing cheek, small swallows
Look at Justine, survey table, over right shoulder at Dave, back at table
Adjust something on plate, looky eyes, forearms on table
Stare at justine
Serve something
Roll eyes
look to Justine
Scratch neck w/ left
tongue tooth
Look at tiffs plate – up and down
Receive bowl from Tiff – Hold with left, spoon with right
Pass with two hands to Ali, then hands down,
Move something On Plate, then put right finger in mouth
Shifty Eyes – Slow
Quick to Justine
Quick to Tiff
Feign Eat tiny spaghettis – Tiny bits
Lean back, forearms on table, sigh
Pour Apple juice to Justine

Photo by Yvonne Chew

Photo by Yvonne Chew


ISSUE Magazine – Family Dinner by Alexa Mardon
Family Dinner – Thanks
Family Dinner – Images July 2014
Olla Urban Flower Project At Our Table
Be Our Guest
The Invitation and The Hand
Task Force Invites You To Family Dinner
Family Dinner – The Illustration
Family Dinner – The Scripts
A Serial Project
Family Dinner: the blueprint
task force: family dinner #6
task force: family dinner #5
task force: family dinner #4 – solos
task force: family dinner #3 – fiesta
task force: family dinner #2 – chit chat and low blood sugar
task force: drawing ‘sticks’
task force: prep and schrapnel
task force: dinner #2 place settings
task force: Bachelard in point form
task force: what we are thinking
task force: the table
task force: fingerling love
task force
task force – family dinner #1


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