In the Realm of Senses serves a Beethoven banquet — October 28, 2019.
OCTOBER 28, 2019, 6:30pm
4710 N Ravenswood Ave
Read this review of a recent performance similarly combining food, scent and world class music
The room is intimate, simple, and easy to settle into. Jeff Yang, creator, curator, and producer calmly sits at the front of the room tuning his instruments. We have just experienced musical snippets featuring rarely heard pieces by famous Ukrainian-born composers delivered oh so passionately by Yang. Yang makes love to his instruments, losing himself in the melodies, rhythmically swaying side to side, as his head moves along to the sweet sounds. He wields his violin bow like a magic wand, casting musical spells as it poignantly cuts through the air.
It all feels so enchanting!
The audience has just been released for intermission. The beginning half was intriguing, but obviously just the tip of the iceberg. While the musicians prepare for the second half of the evening, we wonder to the back of the room where small plates of delectable treats and beautiful robust flavors of libations await. We’ve been instructed to refill our drinks, and grab a plate as the next half of the performance required us to further indulge the senses into the experience that’s being curated.
The music starts back up, and this time is accompanied by a colorful animated video of lithographs based on the lost paintings of Viktor Hartmann, created and projected by Galina Shevchenko. The lithographs are romantic, abstract human figures that intertwined with one another. Shapes formed to make indistinct body parts that flowed in perfect harmony. All the while, nostalgic scents designed by master French perfumer Christophe Laudamiel swirled in the air. It was indeed a sensory overload, which felt sensual, safe, and sweet.
In The Realm of Senses EXCITES!
This writer believes the most exciting part was the way the food was incorporated into the orchestral repertoire. Yang warmly advised the audience to follow along with the program, as four food items had been meticulously placed in between each song, and was supposed to be eaten with the music. Immediately you could feel the energy of the room shift. We were now a more present group exploring the full range of Yang’s creation. Mouths took bites in unison of a dark chocolate brownie with caramel drizzle during the tunes of playful notes. A strong perfume scent of nostalgia and curiosity was interjected in the air. It was not overbearing but rather subtle like the hint of sea salt delicately sprinkled on the brownies caramel drizzle.
Everything was crafted with such intentionality and precision, which made for something truly special. Like this writer, you too would likely feel it was an opportunity to fully indulge in all the senses, in order to fully experience a masterful work of art.
The next In The Realm of Senses event is –
Beethoven 250 Part I: Band of Bohemia
About the Author: Jordan Rome
Jordan Rome is an actress turned director/ writer/filmmaker working and living in Chicago, IL. She received her BFA in 2014 from DePaul University in PR and Advertising and Community Service Studies. She uses solo performance and film to deconstruct our understanding of race and body politics in America. She draws inspiration through the intimate exploration of Self and Source, both which she believes are spiritually and equally intertwined.
The professional work she’s accomplished in Chicago’s theatre/film include MPAACT Theater’s, Illinois Caucus of Adolescent Health youth theatre program, Collaboraction Theatre, Theater Momentum, VAM Studios, and Soft Cage Films.