Production Details / Press Releases
In her celebrated solo performances, Dana Michel investigates the endless diversity of human identity: slowed down beyond the point of recognition, bent into grotesque bodily shapes or completely sunken into herself, the performer resembles an unearthly being. The image of a ‘person’ is actually a distortion, warped as if in a fun house mirror, and often defined by arbitrarily applied stereotypes. Dana Michel traces these manipulated, disturbed perceptions of ‘reality’ and ‘self’ with uncanny intensity. For “Mercurial George”, she slips into the various personalities of an ‘inimitable performer’. “What do you do with the body?” she asks. Dana Michel describes her bizarre, comical, subversive performances as ‘post-cultural bricolage’, and arms them with elements borrowed from film, visual arts, fashion, sport or hip hop. It was only in her late twenties that the Canadian found her way to the performing arts; before that, she was a marketing executive, competitive runner and football player, and she allows these experiences to flow into her art brut as well. In 2014, Dana Michel showed her work “Yellow Towel” at Tanz im August.
Dana Michel is a choreographer and performer based in Montreal. Before obtaining a BFA in Contemporary Dance at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) in her late twenties, she was a marketing executive, competitive runner and football player. She is a 2011 danceWEB scholar (Vienna, Austria) and is currently an artist-in-residence at DanceMakers (Toronto, Canada) and at Usine C (Montreal, Canada).
An amalgam of choreography, intuitive improvisation and performance art, her artistic practice is rooted in exploring identity as disordered multiplicity. She works with notions of performative alchemy and post-cultural bricolage – using live moments, object appropriation, personal history, future desires and current preoccupations to create an empathetic centrifuge of experience between her and her witnesses.
Michel’s solo “Yellow Towel” (2013) was featured on the “Top Five” and the “Top Ten” 2013 dance moments in the Voir newspaper (Montreal) and Dance Current Magazine (Canada) respectively. In 2014, she was awarded the newly created Impulstanz Award (Vienna) in recognition for outstanding artistic accomplishments and was highlighted amongst notable female choreographers of the year by the New York Times. The year concluded with “Yellow Towel” appearing on the Time Out Magazine (New York City, U.S.) “Top Ten Performances” list.
Cast & Credits
By and with: Dana Michel
Technical management, lighting design: Karine Gauthier
Artistic advice: Martin Bélanger, Peter James, Mathieu Léger, Roscoe Michel, Yoan Sorin
Sound: David Drury
Coproduction: Tanz im August
Production: Dana Michel, Marie-Andrée Gougeon for Daniel Léveillé danse
With the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Canada Council for the Arts
Coproduction: Festival TransAmériques, Dance in August, CDC Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson, ImPulsTanz, Chapter
Dana Michel receives administrative support from Daniel Léveillé danse company (Montréal, QC) as part of the Touring Sponsorship Project.
Residences: Usine C, Dancemakers – Center for Creation (Toronto), ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival, Actoral – La Friche Belle de Mai, CDC Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson, Woop (Douarnenez)
Tanz im August 2016
Artistic director: Virve Sutinen
Executive Producer: Sven Neumann
Production: Isa Köhler, Andreas Skjönberg, Andrea Niederbuchner
Assistance of Artistic Director / Production: Marie Schmieder
Tanz im August is a festival by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, funded by the the Capital Culture Fund and the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.
HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU3)
Tempelhofer Ufer 10
Tickets: +49 (0)30 259 004 27
The video documentation is produced by Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):