MJ's Brass Boppers lead a Mardi Gras Second Line to an Eat-In at CounterPULSE Theater. Photos: Van Nguyen-Stone of Jomi Jomi
Amara Tabor-Smith knows how to throw a party. I know this because I've taken her dance classes at Rhythm and Motion, housed now at the ODC Dance Commons in San Francisco, for almost 20 years. It might be early in the morning but there's a feel-good groove going on in that dance studio. The Oakland-based choreographer and performer has created a tight community, it's a bit like going to church, if church is a place where you shake your booty, swivel your hips, and stamp your feet. Tabor-Smith's energy, spirit, and modern dance moves have inspired legions of fans.
In the past year or so we've discovered a mutual interest in food. Tabor-Smith has hosted food parties and events, including "Visceral Feast" at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley and "Fresh From the Oven" at the Tenderloin National Forest in San Francisco, as she workshops a performance piece about food traditions inspired by her mother's family gumbo tradition, and recent trips to New Orleans, Senegal, and Congo (find more details on her blog.)
The event, dubbed an Eat-In, kicked off with a three-block Second Line featuring authenticly festive NOLA beats by MJ's Brass Boppers. The Second Line started at the corner of 8th and Mission Streets and snaked its way to CounterPULSE, a non-profit performance space for emerging artists and cultural innovators where Tabor-Smith is currently an artist-in-residence.