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 AoD and The 605 Collective
Premiere: The Cultch, Vancouver, 2012.
Toured to Guelph Dance Festival, Made in BC Tour, Toronto, PEI, Halifax
New Animal is a multi media work created with, and specifically for, The 605 collective. The dance exploits the supreme versatility of five dancers – Lisa Gelley, Shay Kuebler, Josh Martin, Dave Raymond and Amber Funk-Barton. Both playful and intimate, New Animal walks a tightrope between fleeting moments of control and radical shifts in dynamics. The tension between flesh ultimately pushes the structure towards the edge of chaos and entropy. The collective effort to maintain form under pressure requires a resultant acceleration of energy from the feral performers, and willingness to adapt against imminent disorder.
New Animal is set to an eclectic soundtrack assembled and manipulated by Roger Tellier-Craig, and features film elements by Dana Gingras and Yannick Grandmont with lighting designed by Robert Sondergaard.
The choreography can best be described as “urban jungle”—primeval movement with a hip contemporary edge—and New Animal is at its best when all the athletic bodies are flying around, crisscrossing the stage as they do in the supercharged opening quarter. As usual, Gingras has nailed the music down perfectly, from the driving, echoey guitars of Shining Path to the laser bleeps and general insanity of Japan’s Boredoms.
New Animal is a roaring, playful beast of a new dance work.
Rather than repressing their humanity for their art, the dancers seem to carry their social context with them in the work. New Animal is athletic and powerful. Dancers use the floor to execute swift falls and leaps that see them go from prone to standing in seconds. Their interactions onstage are complex and gestural, deriving from natural body language rather than from an external geometry….New Animal never descends into abstraction however there are always two levels to the dancing, one that is legible in a narrative sense and one that is legible in a symbolic sense.
From the get-go, New Animal is its own world where the dancers appear beholden to prevailing forces: internal back-of-the-brain animal instincts versus an external invisible hand. Technically impressive with their universal ability to fast-forward, rewind and stop on a dime, 605 attacks New Animal’s contrasts between explosive physicality and moments of suspended animation — most impressively demonstrated by Shay Kuebler’s physics-defying handstands.
Posted on: Saturday February 5, 2011