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Back in the Saddle show poster

Back in the Saddle at Color Club

Dates: (5/17/2024 - 5/18/2024 )


Color Club

Darvin Dances/Alix Schillaci

4146 N Elston Ave
Chicago,IL 60618

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Back in the Saddle is a split bill between Alix Schillaci and Darvin Dances. Starting off with Inclined to Decline (Darvin Dances), a piece inspired by rejection letters and ending with Sunset’s That Way (Alix Schillaci) as a glamour-filled, surreal Wild West dance extravaganza! 

Rejection letters are an inevitable part of our adult lives. Whether it’s a rejection letter from a college or a job, they almost always have the same uncomfortable effect. The person on the receiving end feels somewhat dejected even if they did not want the position in the first place. While they are invariably unpleasant, our reactions to them may vary widely. We may try to learn from the rejection; we may mope for a period of time then move on with our lives; we may angrily crumble the letter and throw it in the trash; or we may stubbornly decide to apply again and again until acceptance or death.

“I reject your rejection!” shouts one as they flip another dancer over their shoulder, then take a fighting stance. Collectively they form a robotic phalanx that marches forward, stopping to spin furiously from one side to the other like a possessed washing machine.” writes Tristan Bruns of See Chicago Dance after viewing an excerpt of “Inclined to Decline” in First Draft last March. “Inclined to Decline” is a dance piece that repurposes rejection letters and uses them for inspiration rather than dejection. This work will explore the resilience and perseverance needed to move forward past rejection. Frolicking throughout the space, dancers will throw the letters into the air as they leap and fall to the ground. They will pull other dancers up from the ground and support each other through as each dancer finds their way to deal with the rejection letter. Some will tear the letter up and stomp on it while others will delicately lay it on the ground and leave it behind. 

Sunset's That Way is a narrative driven dance work that takes place in a limitless Western dreamscape built by a collaborative team of movers and designers. Using extensive worldbuilding and play as a tool for storytelling and movement generation the work explores fate, desire for control, the glamorized self/aspiration self, and the search for safety (perhaps more succinctly put as fate, survival, aspiration, exhaustion, and safety) through the use of exaggerated personas in a surreal pop culture landscape. It is interested in the healing power of collective daydreaming and playing make believe even for the temporary time of an hour and ten minutes. It is fast paced and attempts to be distracting enough in its entertainment value that you don’t realize you are also crying. It aims to make the audience feel like they are part of the story, and to mimic the experience of seeing a movie or a play. This work follows six queer dancers as they move in and out of three different versions of themselves within the performance space- them as dancers, them as actors on a Hollywood movie set for Western, and them as a idealized, Western characters uninhibited my the limits of reality on a journey across an imagined Western landscape on the outskirts of a town called Dance City. They are trying to get home- whatever that means.


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