"Betty Crocker was a feminist and loved foreigners.
That's our interpretation of available information about the television face of Betty Crocker from 1949 to 1964, Adelaide Hawley Cumming, anyway: She called herself the 'incarnation of a corporate image,' and spent her later years teaching English as a second language. The lady was, in stark contrast to the trademark she embodied, interesting. At Cake in My Face, contemporary dancers take on the myths and realities of our lady of the aprons; the HudsonDance company promises to make a nice mess in homage to the ur-housewife icon. Choreographer Melissa Hudson Bell has focused her extensive academic studies on the connections between food and dance – we thought those connections were limited to something along the lines of 'Those who practice the latter better not have any of the former.' Hudson Bell digs deeper than we do; she's already produced a dance called 'Dessert First.' Betty would approve. So would Cumming. So do we."
Choreographed by Melissa Hudson Bell
in conjunction with the dancers Hannah Schwadron, Szu-Ching Chang, Ann Mazzocca, Melissa Templeton and under the direction of Susan Rose.
Lighting Design by Greg Renne.
Costume assistance from Laura Vriend.
This full-length piece debuted in April 23-25, 2009
at the Performance Lab in Riverside, CA, in conjunction with the UC Riverside Department of Dance.
Excerpts were included at Anatomy Riot #32 "Animal Dances" (Los Angeles) on June 8th, 2009, and the full-length version was re-staged June 20-21, 2009, at CounterPULSE (San Francisco).
"You've probably made a few cakes,
cookies and other goodies using her namesake's products, but did you ever wonder about the woman behind the baked goods line - Betty Crocker herself? Melissa Hudson Bell did. The artistic director of San Francisco contemporary dance company HudsonDance has devoted the past few years examining the interplay between food culture and performance culture. In Cake in My Face, Hudson Bell choreographs the show that tells the imaginary history of the American baking icon and the very real effect of her persona on female domestic identity."
- San Francisco Chronicle
Photography by Corey Marquetti.
Video editing by Megan Lowe.