A woman in a white blouse and a red skirt is in a kitchen, she has flour in her hands. She is performing a type of dance called Kitchen Dancing.
Still from "Kitchen Dance," a short film inspired by the Frankfurt Kitchen at Mia. Photo by Caroline Yang.

“Kitchen Dance,” a film inspired by Mia’s iconic Frankfurt Kitchen, debuts in March

By Diane Richard //

Three years after it was created, Kitchen Dance has finally moved to the front burner.

In the spring of 2020, when the pandemic sent many of us home to our collective sorrow and sourdough starters, it postponed the premiere of a seven-minute film inspired made through an enterprising collaboration. It will now debut on screen Thursday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m., in Mia’s Pillsbury Auditorium.

Filmmaker Maribeth Romslo, choreographer Zoé Emilie Henrot, Mia graphic designer Kris Thayer, and Jennifer Komar Olivarez, Mia’s head of exhibition planning and strategy, will discuss the making of the film and the work that inspired it: the Frankfurt Kitchen by Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky.

A still from the short film “Kitchen Dance,” premiering March 16 at Mia. Photo by Caroline Yang.

The film features dancers from the Ballet Co.Laboratory, and you can read an earlier interview with the film’s contributors here.

“As much as the pause was hard and I was really sad, this delay made space for other things,” Romslo says. During the long pause, Romslo collected new recipes from contributors, which she has shared on the project website. The set, which was based on the layout of the Frankfurt Kitchen and built by Normandale Community College students under faculty member Tom Burgess, is now on view at Franconia Sculpture Park.

Ballet Co.Laboratory will premier its own interpretation, Kitchen Dances, from March 31 to April 2, at the Luminary Arts Center in Minneapolis.

“Thanks to the pause, Maribeth was able to collect more stories, which enriched the proscenium presentation,” Henrot says. “A lot of the dancers’ stories have become more personal—we’ve connected more with our kitchens because of the pandemic.”

On the topics of feminism and women in design, adds Komar Olivarez, “Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky was an important figure as a female architect. It’s a good moment to bring these stories forward as part of our expanded cultural awareness.”

Tickets for the free screening at Mia are available here.