Silvita D. B. Sildance/Acrodanza
The Soul speak through body: in Movement and Stillness.
Silvita Diaz Brown is a Mexican/American choreographer, dancer, actor, acrobat, yoga instructor and movement teacher established in Chicago since 2008. She is the founder of Sildance/AcroDanza dance-theatre company. In Chicago her work has been presented and supported by several venues and organizations-including: Chicago Dancemakers Forum, The National Museum Of Mexican Art, Links Hall, See Chicago Dance, The Cultural Center, Cliff Dwellers Foundation The Harold Washington Library, Malcolm X College, Chicago Daztheatre Ensemble among others. Internationally she has been presented at various venues and festivals in Spain, India, Canada, Mexico and the USA. In 2019 Silvita was awarded The Individual Artists Grant from the City of Chicago and The Links Hall Artists CO-MISSION FELLOWSHIP for her project “Leyendas y Realidades.” “Leyendas” was also part of 2020 American Dance Abroad Pitchbook volume VII and Silvita was honored to be nominated for a 3ARTS award in Dance in 2020 and 2021. In 2021 She was awarded a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Digital Dance Grant for her dance film “Visita a Nuestros Muertos” and she has been selected for a Ragdale residency this 2022 where she will dive into the creative process of new work “Ellas y Yo Mexicanas.”
As a dancer/performer, she has worked with independent choreographers, dance companies and theater directors in Egypt, Mexico, Canada and United States. Silvita holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance from UDLAP, Mexico, and a MFA in Theatre with Movement Diploma from York University, Toronto. She also completed two yoga certifications and has trained in partner acrobatics with Acroyoga Montreal and Acro Dutch. Silvita teaches yoga and movement all across Chicago. Her yoga and partner acrobatics practice have been transformative vehicles in her life and have richly influenced her dance practice, creative work, vision, and performance.
Her work: Silvita interlaces dance with acrobatics, sound, and spoken word and video. Using both English and Spanish, she uses her art to celebrate her Mexican heritage and to awaken insights about gender equality and female empowerment . Diaz Brown's interdisciplinary work investigate the self: its desires, fears and realizations and how they intersect with societal norms and expectations. She is also compelled by the ways that mysticism, mythology, and folklore can reveal heroic aspects of our everyday life journeys. Her goal is to discover and articulate deep strengths and insights that inspire audiences to feel empowered in their identities and futures no matter where they come from.
"Leyendas y Realidades"
By Brianna Alexis Heath from See Chicago Dance.
"The projections, that often mimic what the dancers are doing on stage, at times blur their bodies together into what becomes a beautiful mural of shapes and colors. This, paired with the how the dancers play with illusion—bending their bodies into shapes and pushing their bodies past what we believe is humanly possible—helps to further blur this line between reality and myth. At one moment, Brown seems to be levitating and circling in the air as Knowlton rotates her around on his feet. It’s not clear where her body begins or ends as she continues to pull herself through and dangle from his legs, the projections morphing with their bodies to create other shapes and images." "...it celebrates these women’s strength, resilience and place in Mexican history with underlying commentary on the way women—their bodies and voices—have been used to propel the agenda of colonialism. Like the controversial myths of Pocahontas and Sacagawea, the narratives of women who are praised for having sacrificed their lives working for peace between the colonizer and the colonized, connect to the modern discussion of who owns women’s bodies and labor." Here is the Full Review here.
BY Ayako Kato from Performance Journal
Silvita successfully conveys Mexican mythology, history and her heritage. Applying the strength of the Acro Yoga training, she elevated the mentally and physically challenging practice into her own art form, and the serene and careful movement execution by dancers even reminds us of the historical pyramids of the Sun and the Moon in Mexico. Her music collaborator Wiebe Dirk Ophorst also generously takes us into the journey through the ancient land of Mesoamerican cultures and the history of the Aztecs with the hints of contemporary sound essences freely combining electronics. Silvita has been accumulating her discipline step by step as those pyramids are built, and the strength and suspension themselves represent her own character of living through her life in the United States overlapped with the one of La Malinche. Witness and feel her magical craft of uniting all the ancient and contemporary elements with her peer resonating collaborators. We will feel hope. Full review here.
By Andrea Mikenas from Gozamos magazine
The pièce de résistance, however, and I doubt anyone in the almost-at-capacity audience would disagree, was the acroyoga performed by dancer and choreographer Silvita Diaz Brown and Christopher Knowlton. I have never seen acroyoga before, had never even heard the term before attending Braiding Rivers, but after seeing Diaz Brown and Knowlton perform it, I implore you: go see some acroyoga! A chorus of four women dressed in white performed movements in the back right corner of the stage with Knowlton as Diaz Brown performed the beginning of the story, which was enthralling, but once the pair got rolling, I don’t think a fire alarm would have caused the audience to move from their seats unless flames were licking at our feet. Knowlton was tossing Diaz Brown in the air with his feet at times, but he made it look so effortless that it wasn’t until after the show that we saw most of his kabuki-looking stage makeup had melted into droplets on his face. Full review here.
By Heather Schoering The Chicago Tribune A yoga studio isn't the only place to experience what the ancient Indian discipline has to offer. One dance troupe uses the practice as an artistic performance tool. And these yogis fly. Choreographer, dancer and yoga instructor Silvita Diaz Brown will debut her performance in progress, "Encuentros" (Spanish for "encounters"), Tuesday at The Cliff Dwellers Club. The performance blends acrobatic yoga (a type of yoga that requires two people and combines gymnastics with traditional yoga) with contemporary dance, spoken word and live music. Full review here.