Breaking Grounds: a response from The Vertical Side Show

Ground Rhythm Dance Project – Breaking Grounds Performance Series II

27 March 2019, Co-presented by Ground Rhythm Dance Project and Links Hall *

Featured Performances By: Marceia Scruggs, Dedrick Gray, Jasmin Williams, Maxine Patronik, Christina Morrison, Gabriela Ortiz, Brandy Rogers, Destine Young

image: courtesy of the artist


“The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage.” – Jack London

No truer words were ever spoken,

that rules were made then to be broken.

And that’s the tale these artists told –

they broke the rules… then broke the mold.

So two-by-two they linked their visions,

then split them with precise incisions.

They conceptualized (to great effect)

that one would build and one would wreck.

We first were treated to the root,

Each piece that followed, followed suit.

and at the hands of these risk-takers,

so to speak, we met our ‘makers’.

Four artists hailed as gifted peers –

these choreographic pioneers,

set works of movement, fresh and clean,

untouched, unaltered, unforeseen.

Then three more artists came and plucked them,

to represent, but deconstruct them.

Not to efface or sabotage,

but share the space and pay homage.

So with the formers’ approbation,

the latter gave interpretation.

Thus three more ‘brand new’ works of art

were spawned by breeding counterparts.

A clever stunt of turnaround,

thus breaking rules and breaking ground.


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!