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ALL YOU CAN EAT!






ABOUT

ALL YOU CAN EAT! is an interdisciplinary exploration into mealtime traditions and their relationship to community and the individual. It dissects common mealtime themes documented from past ethnographic studies in Philadelphia, New York, Tokyo, Porto, Bridgetown, and beyond. This work pulls from several reemerging ideas: mealtimes and eating, gesture, repeated routines, ephemerality, intimacy, and community/relationship building. Through these themes we investigate how mealtimes relate to individuality within community. Using movement to dissect how these relationships and routines are both impermanent and perpetual. Together, we explore how mealtime rituals and relationships are essential to the human condition, both as an act of survival and intimate shared experience.

ALL YOU CAN EAT! was originally conceived as a choreographic inquiry of interpersonal relationships and their connections to routine. Ultimately, these connections were developed through investigations in American Sign Language, everyday aesthetics, and the disability aesthetic. Rachel collaborated with writer Nicky Brown to develop choreography through a unique process which placed collaboration at the forefront. In this process, Rachel and Nicky created their works side-by-side, with Nicky writing in response to choreographic phrasework. Once written works were completed, and choreographic structures were set, written works were then handed to the cast of dancers to investigate through improvisational practices. As these choreographic explorations developed, cast members highlighted specific words and phrases to translate into ASL, and further developed the choreography through new improvisational structures which incorporated elements of the ASL translations.


BREAKFAST

My electric cuckoo sings as
my armistice with the universe
melts away while my burner heats
and the butter screams
I open the shades so the sun can see
This world is gray but this room is gold
I put my two eggs on an eye of the stove

Some hash would join if the hour was slow
I would chop up an onion and wake up my spices
Paprika and garlic massaging my nose
And I could sit at my table
The aloe would hug me
My plate would be more than subsistence

But alas I flip my eggs
while the coffee pot works on her own
She’s always on time, knowing she’s to-go
Then my meal from the pan
to my mouth while I stand
My cuckoo sings again,
my next meal I’ll savor
I soak the dishes for later
to back end my labor
My window cracks and the gold leaks out
I fill my silver thermos
with an uncompromised brew

Java drips off its side as I step through my door
I stand for a second on the edge of the world
All the people are loud and their glances are fleeting
The pigeons on rooftops are the only ones breathing
I step on the sidewalk as a horn belts my brain
A bus careens towards me
so i guzzle my mug
Its shimmer is a brace
It’s a space I can live
The street becomes quiet
for the rest of the sip



GETTING
GROCERIES

A little more love with this stop
An errand becomes a journey
Keen but careful
when the endgame is your seat at my table
If a pepper won't shine it goes back

The squeaky wheels can’t vex me
as I walk past the bagged lettuce
to grab a head and a heart
to care for myself
It will taste just the same
but love isn’t practical

Betty’s alley is my last stop
A beeline to red velvet
As the bakery questions
if you deserve better
Yet I know in your heart
you’d much prefer effort
I toss piping gel in the cart
set to humble me later
Our guests will laugh
but you'll know what I wrote

My receipt is clear
I missed every deal
There was nothing I saved
except your seat at my table
Tomorrow I’ll return
to buy my survival
For today in those aisles
was only your smile


SHARING
SUPPER

Pressure without strain knocks
and enters with your face
help I could never ask for
but would be futile to refuse
you orbit the table with plates
just take a seat dear
you’ve been out in the swelter
but there’s no fires here

Your mom walks in
She's intrepid, never knocks
Your best friend from undergrad
calls from outside like the door is ever locked

I drop salad and potatoes to finish the piece
Red wine in cups to polish our feast
The stuffed peppers center the circle
but our ceremony surrounds
And how instinct is our giving,
dishes revolve without cue

Your mom approves the peppers
but the potatoes have too much garlic
A thoughtful critique,
she’s nice then she’s honest
You’ve long stopped apologies
so I take a bite and concede
As tradition her monologue
on how you used to love meat

Your friend takes the blame
as her idea junior year
to drop reds first
then chicken from there
Your mom interjects
how her chili needs beef
I counter with the point
she can always cook for me

You punch my arm in the gentle air
and tell our guests of your roller blades
that you bought last week
that you’ll master next week
How I should have gotten a pair
but I distrust my balance

One more sip and you see
the last 26 years
Every bowl of soup from
when you were a child
with just your mom
in the complex
You had everything

And every tray of pasta
in the dining hall
before the nights you
were wild with your
blouses in December
You wanted everything

And the fajitas we had
from that hole in the wall
when we met last summer
in the center of town
in this moment
You have everything

Isn’t it such a neat thing
to see this table of strings
and how each thread extends
to your seat at the end

by Nicky Brown


BEHIND THE SCENES



WHO IS WHO

Choreographer & Director Rachel DeForrest Repinz

Dancers Mijka Smith
                               Enya-Kalia Jordan
                              Lindsey Garnhart
                                  Wren “Lys” Coleman
                      Megan Bridge

Editor Jim Carapetyan

Writer Nicky Brown

Woodworking Artist Jeffrey Smith

Original Music Composition MANCEN
                                                    Bartichak

Production & Design Assistant Christian Titer

Promotional Collage Artist Big Flowers


Rachel DeForrest RepinzRachel DeForrest Repinz is a New York based dancer, choreographer, teaching artist, and creative director of RACHEL:dancers. Rachel is an alumna of SUNY Buffalo State College with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, and Temple University with a Master of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. Rachel has presented her work nationally and internationally, at venues including the biennial Decolonizing Bodies: Engaging Performance conference at UWI Barbados, Mark Degarmo’s NYC Performance Salon Series, the 2019 NDEO conference held in Miami, the 2018 NDEO conference held in San Diego, DaCi’s 2017 national gathering, the Institute of Dance Artistry, Philadelphia Youth Dance Festival, DaCi’s 2020 special performance series, and more. She has had the honor of performing premiere works by Dr. S. Ama Wray using Embodiology techniques, Meriàn Soto, Awilda Sterling-Duprey, Megan Bridge of <Fidget>, Carlos R.A. Jones, and as a principal dancer for Enya Kalia Creations, among others. She has been commissioned to create works for a variety of organizations including the Utah All-State Dance Ensemble, the Buffalo State Dance Theater Company, Lawrence Public Schools, and more. Currently, Rachel is working as a teaching artist with Temple University, Dancewave NYC, and Upper Merion Youth Dancers. Rachel’s favorite meal is coffee and a late-night diner breakfast with the people she loves.

Mijka SmithMijka Smith is a dancer and choreographer from Elverson, Pennsylvania. She has been dancing since age three, primarily trained in ballet, contemporary/modern, and hip hop techniques. She spent her junior and senior years of high school as a dance dual enrollment student and company member at West Chester University while continuing to study, teach, and choreograph at her home studio, Remix Dance Collective LLC in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. Mijka is now studying at Temple University where she pursues a BFA in dance. Since coming to Temple in 2018 she has had the opportunity to perform various works, some of her favorites including Megan Bridge’s Malo as part of the Grounds that Shout! project and Marion Ramírez’s kNots and Nests. Now working as an Administrative Assistant for Fidget, Mijka continues to study, perform, choreograph and teach as she enters her final year at Temple. You can find Mijka on Instagram at @mijkalenasmith or via email at 18msmith@gmail.com. Mijka’s favorite meal is homemade bread shared with the people she loves.

Enya-Kalia JordanEnya-Kalia Jordan is a choreographer, researcher, scholar, teaching-artist, and multiple award recipient from Brooklyn, New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Buffalo State in 2017. Enya-Kalia received a Master of Fine Arts from Temple University and founded the college's chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts in 2019. In 2020, she began her doctoral studies at Texas Woman's University. Enya-Kalia has performed with Buffalo State's Dance Theatre Company, Kariamu & Company, Kimmel Center's Philadelphia Festival of the Arts, Carlos Jones, Dr. S. Ama Wray, and many others. She has conducted ethnographic research in Tokyo, Japan; Guimaraes, Portugal; Amsterdam, Holland, Netherlands; and Paris, France. She has presented research twice at the NDEO annual conference in Miami, Florida, and San Diego, California. She founded and artistically directs her own movement-based artist collective, Enya Kalia Creations, which has performed nationally and internationally. This includes at the University of West Indies in Barbados, Pennsylvania State at Abington, CADD at Duke University, DaCi conference in Salt Lake City, BAAD! Ass Women in Dance Festival & Kun-Yung Lin’s Inhale Performance Series. Enya-Kalia is a teaching artist with Notes in Motion Outreach Theatre, Abrons Center for the Arts, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Dance Africa program. She is also the Youth Company Director at Cora Dance in New York and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Virginia and Erie Community College. She has won numerous grants, scholarships, and awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant, Arts Administrators of Color Network, Dance Union, Cooper-Newell Foundation, Texas Woman's University, SUNY Buffalo State, Temple University, among others. Enya-Kalia and her collective can be found on Instagram at @enyakliacreations or at enyakaliacreations.org. Enya-Kalia’s favorite meal is shrimp vodka pasta and a glass of merlot shared with her close friends.

Lindsey Garnhart Lindsey Garnhart is a junior at Temple University, where she is earning her BFA in Dance with a business minor. She has performed with Klassic Contemporary Ballet Company and Temple University in Philadelphia, and RACHEL:dancers and Elegant Dance in New York City. She has experience in ballet (Vaganova), modern (Limón, Graham, post-Judson techniques), Umfundalai technique, West African dance, jazz, and tap. She currently teaches tap at Pennsylvania Academy of Dance Arts (Montgomery County PA) and other styles at Theatrical Artist's Prep and Center for Dance Education (Union County NJ). She is very excited to be participating in another project with Rachel. Lindsey's favorite meal is a pork roll egg and cheese on a toasted everything bagel eaten on the roof at the beach with Kimmi, Julia, Charlotte and Abby!

Megan BridgeMegan Bridge is a dancer, choreographer, producer, and dance scholar based in Philadelphia. She is the co-director of Fidget, a platform for her collaborative work with composer, designer, and musicologist Peter Price. She is particularly interested in the historical lineages and discursive frameworks that situate her work, and her teaching and writing practices reflect this interest. Bridge is currently pursuing her MFA degree in dance at Temple University, with completion expected in December, 2020. As a professional dancer Bridge has worked with choreographers and companies such as Group Motion, Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson, Jerome Bel, Willi Dorner, Lucinda Childs, David Gordon, Susan Rethorst, anonymous bodies, Headlong Dance Theater, and readySetGO, and has taken workshops with Deborah Hay, Xavier LeRoy, Miguel Gutierrez, and Jan Fabre. On tour, Bridge’s performances have taken her to New York, Vienna, Berlin, Bogotá, Plovdiv, Tbilisi, Skopje, Rennes, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Warsaw, Kraków, Lublin, Bytom, Poznań, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Johannesburg, and Zurich. In 2013 she was named “Best of Philly” for stage performance by Philadelphia Magazine. Her favorite food to eat is salmon sashimi on special occasions with her husband Peter and their two kids, Tristan and Freya.

Wren “Lys” Coleman Lys Coleman grew up in Hatboro, PA and began dancing at the age of 3. They have trained in many styles including modern, ballet, jazz, hip hop, and acrobatics. They have trained all over Pennsylvania, from their first class at a local studio, to modern classes with Dr. Melinda Copel (MCCC), which influenced them to stay and train at Temple University for their college education. From there, Lys has trained/performed with many public dance figures such as Timothy Early, Kun Yang Lin, Dara Jomani Meredith, and various retired dance artists from the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Their favorite meal is an egg white/spinach omelet and a coffee for breakfast, enjoyed with their cat, Jellybean.

Nicky BrownNicky Brown hails from and currently resides in Poughkeepsie, New York, though he did take a few years to get a writing degree from SUNY Oswego. Nicky is an avid food eater and the consumption of culinary deliciousness is perhaps his second most driving force. The first being his desire for a world where every single human being can eat three meals a day with a roof over their head. Get a deeper glimpse into his brain by following him on twitter @nickybiswashed. Nicky's favorite meal is homemade macaroni and cheese shared with his mom.

MANCEN MANCEN is involved with a few musical projects including the band Soul Blind and duo Dr3am T3am. The artist produces and records as “MANCEN” in a solo project as well. In addition to music, MANCEN is a graphic designer and embroiderer/screen printer for numerous artists and brands. All of the artist’s work is available at @cenwashere on Instagram. MANCEN’s favorite meal is general tso’s tofu over rice and broccoli shared with friends.

Jeffrey Smith
Jeffrey Smith is a cabinetmaker and restorer of historic buildings for over thirty years in southeast Pennsylvania. To contact Jeffrey about his work, call (484) 354-0971. His favorite meal is cooking and eating Thanksgiving with his children. All who have nowhere else to go are welcome on Thanksgivings at Jeffrey’s.

Christian TiterChristian Titer is a film production assistant, artist and musician. Christian currently makes music under the pseudonym Kane Bleach, and as 1/2 of the duo Dr3am T3am. Christian’s favorite food is french toast at 2 AM shared with friends.



THANK YOU

To my creative team and collaborators. This project would not have been possible without you.

To the Temple University dance department, my MFA thesis advisor, Kun Yang Lin, and committee members Dr. Sherril Dodds and Joy Guarino, for your unwavering support, gracious advisement, and mentorship in this process.

To Melissa VanOsch for your encouragement and ASL translations.

To the Great Marsh Institute and Fidget for your generosity, and opening your beautiful spaces to us.

To Adison Christiansen, Catherine Westerduin and Peyton Eidle, who played integral roles in the early process of this project.

To Enya-kalia Jordan, for your friendship, support, and shared love of catching up over margaritas.

To Christian Titer, for your endless love and encouragement, and for keeping me from going crazy during this process.

To my parents, Adam and Kelly Repinz, for your continued love and support of everything I do.



DEDICATED TO


ALL YOU CAN EAT! is dedicated to my grandparents, Ronald and Barbara Tomlins, and Diana and Joseph Repinz. For always keeping me well-fed and well-loved. 

In loving memory of Charles Thorpe.



ETC.


In preparation for the filming of ALL YOU CAN EAT!, all performers and creative team members decreased their non-essential activities for a period of two weeks before filming, and showed no symptoms of COVID-19 during that period. All dancers and team members worked together in a way they felt comfortable and have mutually agreed to.

The cast and team of ALL YOU CAN EAT! stands in complete solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We encourage you to join us in our support by donating to your local anti-racism initiatives, engaging in community service, supporting local Black-owned businesses and using your privilege to amplify the voices of marginalized communities around the globe.

The cast and team of ALL YOU CAN EAT! acknowledges the prevalence of eating disorders and body dysmorphia within the dance community. We encourage you to learn more at https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.