Alumna Corrie Slawson Produces FEAST Ballet

Corrie Slawson, MFA alumna and part-time professor in painting and drawing, is serving as the Executive Producer of “FEAST: a ballet” which will make its online debut the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 27. The original concept for the ballet was derived from Slawson’s sculptural work and she also created the costumes and set pieces for the performance. Tickets to view the production are for sale on their website with a suggested donation of $20. This production was supported by SPACES Gallery (via the Andy Warhol Foundation) and Akron Soul Train. The 32-minute ballet film will also run on loop in the Akron Soul Train Capsoul gallery, alongside broken and unbroken art props, designed and made by Slawson, used in the production Nov. 25- Dec. 23. 

Immersed in a lavish set of over 500 sculptural and store-bought objects, "FEAST: a ballet" follows a corps de ballet of dancers as they navigate a world of contradictions: ruler and ruled; giver and taker; consumer and consumed; complicity and resistance. Christina Lindhout and Kelly Korfhage produced and directed the five-part ballet which was recorded in Verb Ballets’ studios in September 2020. The performance represents the complex narratives of seven commodities: Beef, Bananas, Coffee, Sugar, Minerals, Rubber and Timber.
Corrie Slawson arranging the props for FEAST: a ballet

The evolution of props and set pieces for "FEAST" began over two years ago in visual artist Corrie Slawson’s studio. Originally exhibited as a mixed-media installation titled "Let Them Eat Steak," the set includes more than 100 hand-cast plaster steaks. Visually, the steaks "look" beautiful, attracting the eye in a way similar to a beautiful pointe shoe; gorgeous on the outside, but hiding the results of hard work on the inside. As props, these artworks are activated by dancers in a way that honors the craft and hard work of the artists involved in the project. The artifice of beauty is an entry point into telling the disturbing story of the Colonial reaping of resources, an act that continues today through the production of the commodities the props represent.

In five distinct movements, "FEAST: a ballet" combines ornate imagery, playful storytelling, and powerful movement to subvert traditional ideas of beauty, telling an easy to follow story of how it was, how it is, and how it can be. Learn more about the performance and the artists on the FEAST website.

Photos by Liz Cooper.

POSTED: Friday, November 13, 2020 - 4:15pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 9, 2021 - 11:09am