Arts preview: 'Grocery Dance' at Lucky's Market

Erica Thompson
Dancer Meledi Montano

For the average person, a trip to the grocery store may inspire the following thoughts: sticking to one's budget, getting through the checkout lines quickly, avoiding the cart with the bad wheel, etc.

For Lilianna Kane, who recently graduated from OSU with a BFA in dance, something else came to mind on a shopping trip to Lucky's Market last year.

“I was just looking around at all the colors and all the different packaging and labels and food, and I thought, ‘This would be an awesome place to have a dance performance,'” Kane said by phone from her parents' house in Brooklyn, New York. “And my research for my senior solo was surrounding body subjectivity and female agency and pleasure … and I just think that that relates a lot to food and nutrition and health and advocating for a healthy lifestyle.”

“I think it all goes together with feeling empowered in your body,” she continued. “And that's my goal as an artist: to empower people in their bodies regardless of what they look like or where they're from.”

So Kane recruited several dancers and choreographed the first “Grocery Dance,” which premiered at Lucky's Market in April. The second performance will once again take place at the Clintonville organic grocery store on Tuesday, July 25.

Although some shoppers are bound to be surprised, the dance is not exactly a flash mob, as it is advertised in advance.

“It's supposed to be more of an installation … like a 15-minute loop of choreography,” Kane said. “The idea is not that the audience members or shoppers are supposed to watch the entire thing. … You can stop and watch or not watch at all, or you can try to engage with the dancers, although they probably won't engage much back.”

Last time the dancers wore unitards; this time you may see them in dresses. For music, they will rely on both the natural sounds of the store and some provided tunes. The style of movement is “in the language and realm of contemporary dance,” and there will be sections of improvisation.

“It's like a practice of mindfulness,” Kane said. “So let's say someone sees the cucumbers. … Whatever it means to them, they just are with the cucumbers, so that could manifest in virtuosic movement or it could manifest in just stillness.”

The dancers will begin in the produce section and move throughout the store. There will also be a barrel near the exit for customers to donate non-perishable food or hygiene items to the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center.

Having just launched a “Grocery Dance” GoFundMe campaign, Kane has major plans for the installation.

“My goal would be to take this to all different types of stores in different demographic locations in different areas of the world,” she said.

Lucky's Market

7-9 p.m. Tuesday, July 25

2770 N. High St., Clintonville