STIR Engages The Senses

Choreography and culinary arts combine for summer suppers

This summer the people of Acadiana will have a chance to engage with both the culinary and performance arts in an intimate setting through a summer dinner series called STIR.

The STIR series is a collaboration between Basin Arts and Runaway Dish that will consist of five summer dinners, which will raise funds for and lead up to a final performance event at The Acadiana Center for the Arts in August.

Each dinner will take place in a different location and will center around a theme that will inspire both the dinner and the dance connected to it.

“The idea was to allow dance and food to meet on equal footing.” says Basin Arts Director Clare Cook. “The concept started from a dance perspective, and I was interested in generating more professional dance in this community. Each piece comes from the choreographer’s perspective of how they were inspired by food or the act of eating or dining.”

Cook chose Runaway Dish as the partner for the event because of their history of putting on creative food events throughout Acadiana.

“Runaway Dish has created a culture and artistry around local food and local chefs,” says Cook.

“It felt like they were heightening the artistry part of food, so when we were looking for partners, they seemed like the perfect fit.”

Runaway Dish was founded by couple Denny and Katie and Culbert. Although neither of them are chefs, together they travel around the country for Denny’s food photography work.

Often the dinners they host through Runaway Dish are not held in restaurants and take place in various locations throughout downtown Lafayette.

(L to R: Sharon Leahy and Paige Krause)

Each summer supper in the STIR series will have a different feel and will take place in a different location throughout Lafayette.

According to Cook, the inspiration for each meal comes from concepts tied to the dance and has been inspired by conversations between the choreographer and chef.

The first dinner of the series took place last week, and was choreographed by Cook.

“My initial broad concept was fruit, because since Biblical times fruit has been part of our existence, and there is so much symbolism in it. I was curious about where that would lead me choreographically,” says Cook.

This week’s dinner on June 22 will feature the work of Paige Krause and will center around the theme of food image and how food is photographed.

Future dinner themes include the idea of dining alone and the choreographed chaos of preparing a meal presenting the food to the patron at a restaurant, among others.

“To me, this was the perfect opportunity to create a work that wasn’t just my own work, that engaged other adult dancers in this community,” says Cook. “Each plate is like a world of its own, so if we were going to create a dance performance with five different performances and aesthetics, I thought it would be a neat parallel.”

(L to R: Frances Barker and Gina Hanchey)

Each communal dinner will be followed by a cocktail reception during which participants can mingle with the chef and choreographer responsible for the event.

Chef and choreographer pairings for the summer include Kelsey Leger and Jamie Harson of Scratch Farm Kitchen with Clare Cook on June 15; Manny Augello of Bread & Circus Provisions with Paige Krause on June 22; Katie Platt of Feel Good Foods with Sharon Leahy on July 13; Jeremy Conner of Cellar Salt Company with choreographer Frances Barker on July 20; and Justin Girouard of The French Press with Gina Hanchey on July 27.

Each dinner has as cap of 25 people and tickets can be purchased here.

Click here for more information about the STIR dinner series.


Upcoming Events

The North Side of Lafyette has a new concert series and they are inviting everyone to come out and enjoy live music and local vendors.

Come dance the night away with Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys on Friday,

There will be a kids zone and several vendors on hand, including Romacelli Bistro e VinoCC's Coffee CarencroUptown Girl Boutique, LLCCompel Clothing Boutique and Cajun Cane Kettle Corn.


The Urban Naturalist will be hosting a night just for introverts.

There will be snacks and Tea from Magnolia Moon, a simple plant activity will be provided on seeding or propagation, and the 70s plant documentary “The Secret Life of Plants,” will be playing.

The cost is $12 and the event is BYOB.


Come out to Arpeggio’s for a dose of some serious Saxaphone and Vocal hypnotic sounds by Jeremy Benoit of JB SAAX and the Band, and Mr. Esco McCollum. 

Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite, the Arpeggio’s Facebook Page or by stopping by Arpeggios during lunch hours Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Come out to the Wurst Biergarten to hear from 14 DJs for an all-day Alzheimer's benefit from 12 noon until 2 a.m.
DJs will perform the Longest DJ Set in Lafayette's history, an incredible 14 hour journey of non-stop music.

The DJ lineup will include: Andre Broussard, Core-E, Digital, Hart, Jason Stutes, John Fortier, Johnny CaGe & Jen, Nerve, Moon with Tony Goulas on guitar, Palletjackmusic, Sean Gruv, Super Dave, Vard and more.



Categories: Ça C’est Bon, Theatre + Art, Things To Do