Dark Dining events are choreographed feasts for adventurous diners ready to take the experience of food to new sensory heights in a comfortable, performative environment. From small gourmet restaurants and private parties to company retreats, Dark Dining Projects are always site and audience specific, creating an ever-evolving journey through the senses like nothing you have ever (not) seen.
At DDP events, diners are given featherweight blindfolds before entering the venue and are then guided to their seats where they are served an exquisite gourmet meal. During the meal performers and artists help facilitate a full-spectrum exploration of the senses, including sound, smell, touch and taste; musicians, dancers, vocalists, and other professional artists are all part of the rotating cast of DDP guides and performers.
DDP was started in 2005 by Dana Salisbury, a New York City based artist/choreographer whose work spans dance, video, language, site-specific performance installation and visual art. DDP events have happened all over the world for wide-ranging demographics of small and large groups and have been featured in national and international press.
As of September 1, 2013, Dana Salisbury is embarking on new adventures and will be stepping down as director of Dark Dining Projects. After 8 years of impassioned service to her craft, Dana passes her blindfolds on to Amy Baumgarten. Dana will still host a limited number of engagements and is available for private events. As acting director, Amy will draw upon and expand Dana’s work, to broaden the range of sensory dining adventures.
Amy has been performing with Dark Dining Projects since 2007. She joined as associate director in 2010, and has since led many private and public events in New York City and around the region. She is a dancer and somatic movement coach, who leads outdoor movement retreats in natural spaces surrounding New York. Through the art of sensory awareness, Amy seeks to bridge the beauty of the everyday with the magic of the unknown.
FAQ/What to Expect
What kind of events do you offer?
Currently, Dark Dining Projects is focusing its efforts on private events so we may better serve our patrons. We offer a unique experience that can be tailored in a multitude of ways. From team-building to story telling to mysterious adventures, no two Dark Dining parties are the same. Call us to arrange your very own DDP event!
What if I have special dietary needs?
No problem. Let us know of any dietary restrictions when you make your reservation and we’ll make sure your dinner is modified accordingly.
How do the blindfolds work?
When you arrive at the venue you will be given an ultralight blindfold to put on before entering. The blindfold is designed for meditation and will provide an absolute light blackout without any discomfort; you can even open your eyes! For those who are sensitive to the soft foam texture, we have alternatives.
How does going to the bathroom work?
Just raise your hand and you will be guided there. Once inside the bathroom you’re welcome to take your blindfold off . When you’re done put it back on and tap on the door, and you’ll be led back to your seat.
What else happens at a DDP event?
Each evening is different, varying in the spread of food, the particular musicians, dancers, and other performers in attendance, and the specifics of the space. There is usually music, movement, and bits of guided sense-exploration, but because DDP events are improvisatory and site-specific there’s no telling just what might happen.