"Aloft takes risk a step further in Dinner of our Discontent. The payoff can be huge."-Chicago Tribune
On giant lampshades, clotheslines, chains and picture frames, Aloft's new contemporary circus show, "The Dinner of Our Discontent" veers from heartbreaking to hilarious at the drop of a plate. Directed by Shayna Swanson and choreographed by Swanson and the company,"Dinner" follows five estranged sisters as they return to the home they grew up in after their parents' sudden deaths. Their childhood emotions and resentments take center stage as they encounter the same issues that plagued them through out their childhoods: the twins still dress (and walk, and eat) alike, the second sister vies for the affection of the oldest, and they all walk heartlessly over the meek youngest sister. And then there's the grief stricken maid, having lived in the house longer than any of the girls, having raised them and waited on them every day with no thanks, now faced with having to leave the only family he ever knew. The parents watch the madness from two picture frames on the back wall, their eyes following the action, tormented by their sudden separation and longing for their family to be whole again.
Premiered in 2009, this is a restaging of the original, with an entirely new cast of world-class circus artists. The original acts have been reworked to highlight the experience and incredible talents of these performers. If you were one of the few lucky enough to see the show in it's first incarnation, you'll be amazed at the growth of this contemporary circus company over the last 5 years. Aloft's Artistic Director, Shayna Swanson, once part of the cast, steps off the stage to direct the action for the outside, working to heighten the chaos and emotion that the artists bring forth. This also marks the first time Aloft performs a full-length show in Chicago in a legitimate theater, usually having chosen to present their work at the Aloft Loft, their amazing and versatile training space on the West side.