Animals of Distinction, founded in 2006 as a satellite company of The Holy Body Tattoo, is the multi-media dance company of choreographer and dancer Dana Gingras
A Co-production of the Festival TransAmériques
Smash Up is a full evening presentation consisting of a series of short mixed-media works. Conceived as a collision between dance, animation and sound, Smash Up takes as its informing element the fluidity of the post modern age of repurposing— where the remix, the sample, the mash-up, the hypertext, the cut-and-paste, the adaptation and the bricolage are the means by which we order (or disorder) our existence.
In juxtaposing live movement with the motion of animated projections, Smash Up employs a pop sensibility that creates a mobile tactile atmosphere, deconstructing the sublimely disquieting forces of desire, isolation, emotional and physical dislocation manifested between layers of image, gesture and sound.
From algorithmic languages to the incorporation of ‘readymade’ choreography and stream of consciousness collections, Smash Up makes use of multiple formats and methodology to generate a continuous evolution of action and reaction. In a fractal, ever-evolving set of ideas and images, technology is filtered and re-enunciated through the performers’ physicality. Metastasized growth of line and form masses into chaos; patterns combine and dissolve; normative ideas of physical space are perpetually disrupted and rearranged.
Smash Up premiered in 2007 and has been presented across Canada and in the US. 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, with presentations spanning a number of different incarnations, including Munich at Toca Me, Barcelona OFFF, Lisbon OFFF, New York OFFF Toronto FITC, Chicago FITC, Brighton FOTB, Tokyo FITC, Edmonton FITC, Mexico City’s Museo Tamayo, AIGA (American Institutions of Graphic Artists), SVA (School of Visual Arts), and Stone (John Zorn’s gallery) in New York.
I Am a Chain Reaction, one segment of the installation-based Smash Up and the year’s most unforgettable dance piece, was a collaborative effort with animator Amit Pitaru and visual artist James Paterson. But props go to Dana Gingras for pulling it all together as both the choreographer and performer in the exhilarating work…. Its brilliance lay in its absolute fusion of dance and animation.
“The tug of war between the warm blooded dancer; scrolling animation and numbing roar of high decibel score was immediate…The dance highlight of the evening…an athletic encounter between Susan Elliott and the amazing Shay Kuebler. Playing a couple in the throes a deep commitment, the two juxtaposed displays of precision, strength and scary speed with flashes of tenderness. The audience roar was spontaneous.”
— The Montreal Gazette
Posted on: Saturday February 5, 2011