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 CanDance Network Creation Fund: The Cultch, Brian Webb Dance Company, National Arts Centre, L’Agora de la danse, and supported by the Dance Section of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Heart As Arena is also a co-production of Festival TransAmériques
The fundamental need to connect, despite obstacles of time and distance, has become a central paradigm of human communication. Making these concepts flesh, Heart as Arena, a multimedia work for five performers, explores ideas of receptivity, transmission and the secret language of electricity that animates heart, mind and muscle.
Low-watt radio transmitters broadcast a fragile stream of love songs, snatches of static, and the deep silence of space. A constellation of radios hovers above the dancers, creating a living array of sound. The transmissions create a physical soundscape that is constantly acted on and disrupted by the slipping frequencies and electrical fields created by the dancers’ moving bodies. Bellini’s Norma, the canonical opera of desire, love and loss, acts as the emotional centre of the piece, emerging and disappearing throughout the piece like a distant station heard on late night radio.
This choreography explores the heart as an arena of electrical and emotional force fields; the attraction and repulsion of bodies in motion; physically demanding expressions of need and want; the electrical interplay at the base of our emotions; the firing and silencing of the very neurons that create our experiences of falling in or out of love.
The work features performers Sarah Doucet (Toronto), Shay Kuebler (Vancouver), Amber Funk Barton (Vancouver), Masaharu Imazu (Montreal/Japan) and Dana Gingras (Vancouver/Montreal). Creative collaborators include sound artist Anna Friz (Chicago), sound and lighting artist Mikko Hynninen (Finland), dramaturge Ruth Little (England).
Un spectale électrique.
“Surreal and sexually charged…Five red-hot dancers rip open the heart as a place for electrical and emotional sparks… For cool kids and those who think with their hearts”
“… an eerie, often-unsettling score of static and song fragments — a kick-ass mess of everything from Bellini opera to wailing flamenco to hyperspeed Asian pop.”
“Dana Gingras is one of those rare choreographers who has been able to evolve over the years a movement style – not so much a style as a character, a look – that is instantly recognizable: it is a movement of extremes, equally in love with the floor as with the air, and embracing both with a languorous abandon whose fearlessness transcends considerations of human fragility.”
— Max Wyman
Posted on: Saturday February 5, 2011