Photo: Austin Young
At the centre of the work is a belief that we can obtain critical knowledge from engaging with the physical and emotional risks inherent to dance and movement. It is through the body and choreography that this element of risk can be employed to explore a vision of the world that is larger than our individual isolated experiences. The goal is to stimulate audiences to become more aware of the elements of complexity, connectivity, and complicity within our physical, social, and emotional lives.
AoD’s work has been presented nationally and internationally across diverse platforms including live performance, film, design, visual art, and new media. In 2016, under the direction of Gingras, AoD produced The Holy Body Tattoo’s last work, monumental (2005), with Godspeed You! Black Emperor playing live. This expanded version of the piece premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver as part of the PuSh Festival in January 2016. Since then, monumental has been performed at the Adelaide Festival in Australia, Montreal’s Place des Arts, Grand Théâtre du Québec, as part of Luminato at The Hearn Generating Station in Toronto, the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland, BAM’s NEXT WAVE Festival in New York, the ROMAEUROPA Festival in Italy, MONA FOMA in Tasmania, Australia and, most recently, at London’s Barbican Centre.
In 2018 Gingras joined forces with group A, a Berlin-based Japanese avant-grade synthwave duo, and Sonya Stefan, a Montreal-based media artist. Together, they created anOther — a hybrid production, with performance, installation, and a live concert. anOther premiered at Agora de la Danse and made its international debut at MONA FOMA in 2019.
Free Fall/Chute Libre, her new immersive dance film, was created through a residency at the Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT). Using the Satosphère’s full-dome theatre, the work focuses on stimulating viewers’ senses in unexpected ways. In 2017 Dana Gingras/Animals of Distinction was granted a long-term residency at the Centre de Création O Vertigo (CCOV) in Montreal’s Place des Arts. Through this residency, Gingras/AOD will produce a new large-scale work entitled FRONTERA.
Dana Gingras has collaborated with cultural icons like William Gibson and Jenny Holzer. Musical collaborators include underground legends like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Tindersticks, Warren Ellis of the Dirty Three, The Tiger Lillies, Roger Tellier-Craig (Fly Pan Am), Le Révélateur, and Steven Severin of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Multimedia works have been co-created with 3D animator Josh Sherrett, with animators and programmers James Paterson and Amit Pitaru, and, for her work on Arcade Fire’s award-winning Sprawl II video, with directors William Morrison and Vincent Morriset.
A registered non-profit society, The Animals of Distinction Arts Society is directed (in its activities and mandate) by artistic director Dana Gingras. AoD is produced and represented by international agent Sarah Rogers.