Bread & Butter culminates

photo credit: Katie Graves
photo credit: Katie Graves

Last fall, Cristina Tadeo and Nicholas Davio premiered a miniature dance and music installation at Comfort Station called Bread & Butter. Though short on length, space, and cast,  the result of a year long investigation into the ongoing discussion of artistic sustainability left a lasting impact on me. After a year of incubation, Tadeo and Davio return to finish what they started. Everything about Bread & Butter now is bigger: the work has expanded from 15 to 45 minutes and from the tiny Comfort Station to the 2000 sq. ft. Tom Robinson art gallery. The cast has grown too: adding Mags Bouffard, Julie Boruff and Tadeo herself to the original duet between Isabelle Collazo and Maria Macsay. Davio’s sound design, mixed live on 25 analog tape recorders (up from 8 in the original), is a compelling compilation of recorded interviews with freelance artists from a variety of genres.

“I do what I can with what I have,” said Tadeo over a coffee with me on the north side.  From the beginning of the project, she has kept firm to her promise to pay everyone involved a fair wage, and to remove elements she can’t afford. Bread & Butter’s premiere, nestled into a tightly packed dance weekend featuring at least five other shows (that I’m aware of) speaks to its theme, and to Tadeo’s overarching mission to make a sustainable dance about sustainable dance.

“If art was made in a sustainable manner, there would be less of it.”

For a young dancemaker, the ability to show such restraint may be what keeps her in the game for the long term.

Bread & Butter premieres Nov. 21 (8:00 p.m. and Nov. 22 (3:00 & 8:00p.m.) at Tom Robinson Art Studio / Gallery (2416 W. North Ave). Tickets are $15 available at or $18 at the door