ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:
by to x for
Thursday 5:30-7, Friday 7:30-9
at The Den Theatre in Chicago's Wicker Park Neighborhood
By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara
I caught this piece at the opening of the Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival Thursday night and I was completely charmed by Surface Tension. David and Liam, clad in overalls, embody the childlike curiosity and play of preschoolers, or puppies, with the adult twist of impressive circus skills and control. This lovely exploration of parallel play, competition, bonding, and friendship runs the gamut of positive and negative emotions. Surface Tension includes gift giving and forgiving, the pettiness of fighting and storming off, love, loss, and reconciliation. The friends take turns sharing time in the spotlight, creating, entertaining and supporting one another through juggling, diablo, movement, and partner acro. Highly recommended. Great for all ages. It's a playful, positive piece, full of genuine camaraderie, that's a joy to see.
It was my pleasure to interview David Chervony as one of our five featured artists for the fest. Check it out, then keep an eye out for Surface Tension and/or to x for. I'm hoping this piece is just the first of many to come from to x for, contemporary circus company.
Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday at The Den Theatre! We've picked 5 performers from the upcoming fest to feature and we're asking them all Six Quick Questions. Meet artist, David Chervony, whose show is one of the fest openers at 5:30 Thursday and repeats Friday night as well.
ChiIL Live Shows' Interview
Your name/pronouns: David Chervony (He/They)
Your show(s) title/dates/times: Surface Tension, Thursday at 5:30p, Friday at 7:30p at the Bookspan Theater
1. ChiIL Live Shows: Tell me something quirky or unique about yourself?
I have an encyclopedic knowledge of board games.
2. CLS: Why do you personally do circus arts/dance/performing arts?
I have a lot to say and have no idea how to say it. I love being with audiences, with them challenging me and I them. I love doing things that don't make sense. Circus (and all art) has allowed me to do these things.
3. CLS: How has the pandemic impacted and/or changed you as a performing artist?
I've been able to focus on how I want to create as an artist. It is easy to get entirely lost in solo work as a circus artist--especially with juggling, I can practice for hours and never interact with anyone else. But during the pandemic, I re-discovered how important the ensemble is for my creative process. Collaboration and trust allow me to tell stories I can't imagine telling without other artists.
4. CLS: Did you devise your own act or audition? If it’s your own, what sparked the idea for this piece? If it’s a collaboration, what made you want to be part of this act?
Liam Bradley and I first started working together late last year on an elementary school show. Originally, I thought it was just going to be a job--but very quickly, things evolved. We wrote massive amounts of material in a matter of days. We bonded over shared experiences and our thoughts about art. It was, as we both have said, the easiest creation process either of us have ever been in. We decided to create a full-length work, founded our grassroots collective, Company To X For, and debuted Surface Tension at Miniball Fest in Philadelphia in early April. It received a terrific reception and we are so excited to share this intimate, personal, and fun contemporary circus show in the Chicago Circus and Performing Arts Festival.
5. CLS: What type of audience do you envision seeing your show and why?
Our show is about a queer relationship. This show is for anyone who has ever had a close friendship or relationship. This show is for all ages. We truly believe this show has something for everyone.
6. CLS: Any words of wisdom for younger performers who want to follow in your footsteps?
Create what you want and what you need. Find what inspires you. Do things that scare you. And always, always, charge more money for your work. You're worth it.
For more info on the whole fest running this Thursday through Sunday, here's our feature: https://www.chiilmama.com/2022/02/chicago-childrens-theatre-to-present.html
Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly).
Surface Tension takes a beautiful and daring look at a queer friendship. At points ecstatic, dark, searching, and joyful, this intimate circus show celebrates vulnerable connection through sincere juggling, acrobatics, weight-sharing, object manipulation, and dance.
Purchase tickets HERE: https://ci.ovationtix.com/35386/production/1106356
Company Info: @CompanyToXFor
to x for is a new contemporary circus company created by Liam Bradley and David Chervony. We create intimate work through juggling, acrobatics, and dance that is driven by passion, connection, and pure excitement. We are currently in development of our first work, entitled Surface Tension. The initial iteration of the work was first performed this November, but we have plans to expand it much farther.
David Chervony is a circus artist and creator based in Chicago. He has performed nationally, notably with Midnight Circus, Cirque Us!, Masters of Gravity, and others. He directed AMAZE at the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theater in Branson, Missouri as well as writing and producing Life of the Party by Low Ceiling Circus. For more information, including his CV and videos, visit DavidDrops.com
Liam Bradley is a juggler, acrobat, and mover from Chicago, IL. Liam is a graduate of Circadium School of Contemporary Circus and he's currently excitedly working on circus projects in his hometown. Liam plays with rhythm, space, and convention to create unique manipulation and movement performances. He’s inspired by old school hip-hop, impressionist paintings, and over-priced food. His goal is to defy expectations and create entirely curious compositions.