“Closure”: A response from The Vertical Side Show

Innervation Dance presents “Closure”

9 March 2019, Co-presented by Innervation Dance Cooperative and Links Hall*

Featured Performances By: Dominic Boyte, Michael Sherman, Allison Grabarczyk, Katie Eberhardy, Erin O’Brien, Juan Irizarry Jr., Carly Broutman, Ileana Nadine

image: courtesy of the artist


To sum up twenty years of dance and theater innovation.

We’d be doing great disservice by a mere enumeration.

For how do you pay homage to a time so bittersweet?

A life that’s reached its final scene – a story made complete.

Twenty years since they were born – irreverent and sly,

But my how fast those decades swiftly pirouetted by,

Twenty years of sweat and tears. Twenty years of art.

Twenty years of dancers’ feet, all calloused, torn apart.

Twenty years of fundraisers and vying for those grants,

Twenty years of staying up all night to sew those pants.

Twenty years of costumes – oh, how they accumulated!

Twenty years of press releases and how they aggravated.

Twenty years of a dancer’s life’s greatest wins and losses

Twenty years of merchandise all neatly packed in boxes,

Twenty years of movement that have reached their denouement,

And now the moving storyline is simply ‘moving on’.

The evening meant to celebrate, with a tearful underscore,

“If you want closure, at some point you have to shut the door.”

But follow suit and take a page from the Greatest Dancing Bear,

and pass along your knowledge to a loving, living heir.

For only in their memory does your legacy keep living,

And gives them tools to dance along when the world is unforgiving.

And who knows what the future holds, what other tales they’ll tell?

But tonight we turn the final page and bid twenty years ‘farewell’.

The Vertical Side Show: From the creative mind of the 2013 International King of Burlesque, Ray Gunn, comes The Vertical Side Show – an immersive, theatrical mash-up of burlesque, drag, circus arts, live music, dance, and comedy. With inspiration taken from story-based spectacles like Circque Du Soleil and classic ballets, this site-specific show surrounds the audience and immerses them in an unpredictable line-up of performances.  Each Vertical Side Show presents a new story, ranging from the absurd to melodramatic, through a Dr. Seussian lead narrator and a band of talented misfits. The Vertical Side Show presents its work at Links Hall as part of the Pay-the-40th-Forward season.

(*) PRJ is partnering with Links Hall to celebrate their 40th anniversary by providing a platform for artist-to-artist responses to the work that is presented as part of the Pay-the-40th-Forward season. Thank you, Links Hall, for all that you do for the dance and performance communities in Chicago. Congratulations on 40 years!