What to feed a U.S. dance company overseas 1


You’re on an international dance tour, and it’s a pretty small life. I know this because I just had the great good fortune to accompany Lula Washington Dance Theatre in China last month.

Life boils down to: What time in the morning do you have to put your luggage in hotel lobby? Hey, what’s on the program tonight? Can anyone remember what day of the week it is? And most importantly, when do we eat?

I was astonished by the huge meals we ate on our China trip, as dish after dish after dish exited the kitchen and arrived on the lazy susan of our big round table (we dined family style at every meal, no pairing off!).

The hard-working waitresses delivering our sustenance got rapid-fire requests, as vegetarians sought nutrition, other wanted more soy sauce (this got puzzled response, it’s not a condiment in China, just a cooking tool) and the penultimate question, what the heck is that meat in the dish — chicken or pork?

The dishes in the photo at right are lengcai — cold appetizers before the real show begins, the parade of Chinese cuisine. We ate three hot, cooked, sit-down meals a day and many of us lost weight. Why? Lots of vegetables and little or no snacking between meals.

Therefore while I’m impressed I’m not shocked to see how the Merce Cunningham Dance Company got fed in Moscow, below. Granted, it’s an opening night reception, but look at that food!

All photos, clickable.

merce cunningham dance company reception photo courtesy anna finke, MCDC
lula washington dance theatre banquet photos courtesy keith lommel, u.s. e
mbassy in beijing

One comment on “What to feed a U.S. dance company overseas

  1. Carren Jun 29,2011 6:23 am

    Nice background info. I’m not surprised about the Chinese meals. We love lauriat dinners. It’s fancy and it shows people just how much good fortune the Chinese have 😉 Also, the sharing aspect is integral to the culture. It says a lot about each country, I think 😀

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