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
BY YOUR RESPONSE TO DANGER IT IS EASY TO TELL HOW YOU HAVE LIVED AND WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO YOU. YOU SHOW WHETHER YOU WANT TO STAY ALIVE, WHETHER YOU THINK YOU DESERVE TO AND WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT’S ANY GOOD TO ACT.
– Jenny Holzer
monumental is an elegiac investigation into the physical anxiety of urban culture. In an ever-accelerating climate of greed and ambition, personal relationships are subjected to group identity and human connection becomes increasingly difficult. Even as some individuals are made larger than life, most break and topple under the strain.
monumental is set to live music by Godspeed You! Black Emperor combined with textual elements from visual artist Jenny Holzer’s series Living, film projections, and a cityscape environment sculpted by light. The nine dancers execute the choreography like a series of stop motion photographs or edits in a film. Structured against the desire for continuity and wholeness is the fragmentation and rupture of images – stopped in mid action, jarring, suddenly stilled. Each character is caught in the machinations of love, war, chaos and death. Separated by the physical barriers of the city and the rigidity of social order, the yearning for shared and abiding values is nurtured like a secret shame: desires, indicative of fragility and need, are silenced. Within this isolation, the need for intimacy remains, furtive and hidden beneath looming towers. In the disjunction between immaculate facades and human fragility, innocence is the first loss.
Toronto – June 14 and 15, 2016 at Hearn Generating Station
Edinburgh – August 8 and 9, 2016 at Edinburgh Playhouse
Brooklyn, NY – September 16 and 17, 2016 – Part of 2016 Next Wave Festival at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Monumental is indelibly etched. Unique. Unforgettable. Incredible. An intense hour and 15. Assaulting the senses inspiring living. A paradox. Showing a disconnect while we connect. We clap and call out while wanting to touch loved ones and whisper we are alive.
Moments when it all comes at you – the dance, the words and the music – are like diving too late into an enormous wave and getting swept up in the surge.
…as a daring statement on urban culture, with its heady mix of intimacy and brutality, it’s surely one of the defining dance works of the 21st century.
Altogether, [monumental’s] nerve-racking vision speaks to a vast audience because it encompasses almost every common contemporary angst, from office power struggles to sexual insecurity to apocalyptic, post-9/11 fears. And that is definitely a monumental achievement.
— The Georgia Straight
Audacious… boldly athletic, riotous and abandoned.
— EDMONTON JOURNAL
Posted on: Tuesday December 15, 2015