Chameleon artist Dana Michel is hunting for a pulse and to widen the door to her sexual self. A piercing and unexpected look at the liberation of a body.
Do we ever stop needing sexual education? How can we learn to listen to our own instincts amidst the noise of how society tells us we should behave and the expectations of those in our proximity? Chameleon artist Dana Michel probes her personal history and scans the landscape around her on the hunt for a pulse. In order to access her full human potential, she must widen the door to her sexual self.
How do we reinitialize the body in sleep mode, repressed for its own survival? What tools do we use to dig up our buried parts? Dana Michel continues to dissect her identity by exploring zones of sexual limitations and conditioning. With raw energy and movement inching toward freedom and engaging the infinite potential of everyday objects, CUTLASS SPRING confirms the astonishing originality and innate humour of this artist, a 2017 Venice Biennial Silver Lion recipient. An unexpected, piercing look at the liberation of a body.
Produced by Dana Michel
Executive Producer Par B.L.eux
Created and performed by Dana Michel
Artistic Activators Ellen Furey + Peter James + Heidi Louis + Mathieu Léger + Roscoe Michel + Karlyn Percil + Yoan Sorin + Alanna Stuart
Sound Consultant David Drury
Lighting Design Karine Gauthier
Technical Directors Caroline Nadeau + Karine Gauthier
Distribution Key Performance
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Arsenic (Lausanne) + Bastard Festival (Trondheim) + Black Box Teater (Oslo) + Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans + Centre national des Arts (Ottawa) + Julidans (Amsterdam) + da:ns lab (Singapour) + Galerie du Dourven – Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain (France) + Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels) + Montpellier Danse + Moving in November (Helsinki)
With the support of Visiting Dance Artist Program, a joint initiative of National Arts Centre + Canada Council for the Arts
Creative residencies Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans + Centre national des Arts (Ottawa) + CounterPulse (San Francisco) + Dancemakers (Toronto) + Galerie du Dourven (Trédrez-Locquémeau) + Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels) + PAF-Performing Arts Forum (Saint-Erme-Outre-et-Ramecourt) + Par B.L.eux + Usine C + Reykjavik Dance Festival + Tanzhaus Zurich
Presented in association with Théâtre Prospero
Dana Michel is an associate artist at Par B.L.eux
Written by Elsa Pépin
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Dana Michel (Montreal)
Choreographer and live artist originally from Ottawa and based in Montreal since 2000, Dana Michel has been on a meteoric rise since her 2013 solo Yellow Towel premiered at the FTA.
Prior to being propelled onto the international scene and having her piece hailed by the New York magazine Time Out as one of the top ten performances of 2014, she was a competitive runner and football player. Yellow Towel received the prestigious ImPulsTanz Award in Vienna, and then the critically acclaimed Mercurial George was first presented at the FTA in 2016. She went on to receive the 2017 Silver Lion award for innovation in dance at the Venice Biennial.
While her two solo pieces continue to tour, Dana Michel is back at the FTA with her new show, CUTLASS SPRING, also playing at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels and in Montpellier Danse in the summer of 2019 before embarking on an international tour. She worked on the material for this new piece in numerous venues around the world, including the Musée d’art contemporain in Montreal as part of the Françoise Sullivan exhibit. After exploring her Caribbean roots, Michel continues her research on identity, this time focusing on the sexual dimension, starting with an exploration of a body and material loaded with memory and potential. Dana Michel breaks down barriers as she creates a liberated world of shape-shifting metamorphosis that combines sculpture, comedy and social commentary.