Photograph: Gilles Berquet


Founded in 2006, Animals of Distinction was initially formed as a satellite organization beneath the larger auspices of acclaimed company The Holy Body Tattoo,  for the independent work of artistic director Dana Gingras.

Dance is fundamentally a condition of risk and an embrace of that risk. As a dance artist, Dana Gingras is drawn to amplifying the sense of physical possibility, what bodies are capable of and allowing that to become manifold and present in the most innovative fashion possible.

Animals of Distinction functions as a type of framework for contemporary practice, as a point of intersection where the social kinaesthetic, and the possibilities of physical thinking can be visualized in choreographic ideas with different collaborations and with other art forms.

Since its inception, the company created Smash Up, a full evening presentation of solos and duets conceived as a collision between dance, animation and sound. Smash Up was commissioned by the Festival TransAmériques and premiered at the festival in 2008. Since its premiere the work has toured across Canada, in the US and Europe across many different platforms including live performance, film, design, and new media.

The interactive software that generates the animation of the company’s celebrated work Chain Reaction and video of the live performance have been presented at graphic design conferences, and universities around the world, In addition AoD has produced three Bravo!FACT film works Dances for Dzama, Aurelia,  and Double Bubble.  In 2010 AoD presented the video/performance installation What Is Mine Is Yours at Los Angeles County Museum Of Art as part of Let Them Eat LACMA

Heart As Arena the company’s full length work featuring an installation by radio and sound artist Anna Friz premiered at The Cultch in Vancouver on October 4th, 2011 and has since been performed in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre and in Montréal at L’Agora de la Danse for the Festival Transamériques, Sherbrooke and Quebec City. In 2012, Animals of Distinction and Vancouver’s 605 Collective co-produced and premiered New Animal, a full-length multi-media work choreographed by Dana and performed by the collective’s five dancers which has toured to Guelph Dance Festival, through out British Columbia on a made in BC Tour, Toronto, PEI, Halifax.

The Animals of Distinction Arts Society is a registered non-profit society, and is directed (in its activities and mandate) by artistic director Dana Gingras. AoD has been managed by Eponymous since 2006. AoD is represented by international agent Sarah Rogers.



Dana Gingras is a dance artist whose work in the past 20 years have established her has a game-changing, boundary-pushing choreographer and performer.

In 1993, Dana co-founded The Holy Body Tattoo (with Noam Gagnon) . The company changed the landscape of Canadian dance, earning numerous awards and honours for its stage and film work. our brief eternity, premiered in 1996, won The Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Ensemble Performance. The work has been performed more than 100 times in Canada, Europe, USA, and most recently in Australia at the Sydney Opera House. Circa (2000), was the recipient of the inaugural Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award. The piece has been performed around the world, including at Ein Fest in Wuppertal, Germany at the invitation of Pina Bausch, and at London’s Barbican Theatre. Other critically acclaimed works include Running Wild (2004) and monumental (2005).

Dana has collaborated with such esteemed artists as writer William Gibson, director William Morrison, Graphic Designer Steven R. Gilmore, musicians The Tiger LiliesThe TindersticksWarren EllisSteven Severin,with director Vincent Morriset on the award winning music video for Arcade Fire’s Sprawl II, with design studio Daily Tous Les Jours on “Chorégraphies pour des humains et des étoiles” for Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan, Montréal and most recently with director Cora Bissett on GRIT which is featured as part of the 2014 XX Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival in Glasgow, Scotland.

Dana is an Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre.