I entered The Vaults with a feeling of trepidation, but after experiencing Kate March and her cavorting crew of dancers at An Evening Of Meat, I later left there feeling utterly exuberant, writes Michael Holland.
An Evening Of Meat has been created and choreographed by March for her all-female collective, I Am, and combines feasting and carousing while scantily clad dancers cavort on the table tops. That all sounds a bit fetish but it is an art performance above all else. The women demand attention and eye contact as they crawl across the long dining tables, between the plates and wine glasses. At times they are in worlds of their own tortured Hell, then in a flash they are moving completely in synch with each other and the music, even though they are in different parts of the room. And all the while Kate March is monitoring, directing and participating in the romp.
The idea March wants to explore is femininity and vulnerability, and not to make women ‘a piece of meat’, but I’m not sure this is totally achieved. I suppose, though, after the initial awkwardness experienced at a troupe of nubile young women in bustiers and fishnets writhing just inches from you, any thoughts of lust loses its lascivious lure and the food and drink become more important.
And the fare was excellent. The menu of six, sexy meat-based dishes was prepared by Michelin trained chef Chavdar Todorov and included chicken liver, pig cheek and a very tender mutton shoulder, all perfectly cooked and presented. Even the dessert of 70% chocolate and olive oil ganache had bacon flakes over it.
Ultimately I wasn’t sure what I had actually been part of. Was An Evening Of Meat food porn, performance art or a Burlesque show? I do know, however, that it was both confrontational and a very special evening, and the artistes got a well deserved standing ovation. Comfort zones, however, must be left at the door.
An Evening Of Meat is on at The Vaults until 22nd April. Times: Tues – Sun 6.30pm. Admission: £30 – £60. Phone: 0207 401 9603. www.thevaults.london