Vital Space is the Place
Dana Michel specializes in creating situations governed by their own logic. She lives in a world of objects to which she gives new meaning and purposes, away from binary and linear thinking and doing. She breaches social norms from a position of curiosity rather than provocation, gently ushering supposed “marginal figures” to the centre of the conversation. With humour and sensitivity, she questions our very modes of existence.
MIKE asserts the nomadic aesthetic that has become Michel’s calling card over the course of her career. In an open space, during three hours, MIKE invites the audience to spend time inside its universe. It revolves around work culture and self-respect, and puts forward a burning question: is it possible to live public lives that reflect our inner selves? Put your faith in Michel’s hands, one yes at a time.
Produced by SCORP CORPS
Created and performed by Dana Michel
Artistic Activators Viva Delorme + Ellen Furey + Peter James + Heidi Louis + Tracy Maurice + Roscoe Michel + Karlyn Percil + Yoan Sorin
Scenographic Consultant and Technical Director Romain Guillet
Sound Consultant David Drury
Production Viva Delorme + Dana Michel ̶ SCORP CORPS
Distribution Anna Skonecka + Koen Vanhove ̶ Key Performance
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + ARSENIC ̶ Centre d’art scénique contemporain (Lausanne) + Centre National des Arts (Ottawa) + Julidans Amsterdam + Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Bruxelles Brussels) + MDT (Stockholm) + Montpellier Danse + Wexner Center for the Arts of The Ohio State University (Colombus) + Moving in November (Helsinki)
With the support of Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie
Creative residencies Alkantara (Lisbonne) + ANTI Festival (Kuopio) + Centre National des Arts (Ottawa) + Kinosaki International Arts Center + Kyoto Experiment + Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels) + Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt) + Montpellier Danse, residency at Agora, cité internationale de la danse with the support of Fondation BNP Paribas + RIMI/IMIR SceneKunst (Stavangery) + Shedhalle (Zürich) with the support of Tanzhaus Zürich and the Embassy of Canada to Switzerland + The Chocolate Factory (New York)
Premiered at Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Bruxelles, on May 18, 2023
Written by Enora Rivière
Translated by Marie-Pier Labbé
Presented in association with UQAM – Cœur des sciences
About the artist
Dana Michel (Montreal) SCORP CORPS
She describes herself as a live artist. Exploring the world of nuance, Dana caused a stir from the start with her first creations. Since then, she has been refining her exploration of time and improvisation, finding her own way into concepts such as identity, sexuality, and work.
Ottawa native, based in Montreal since 2000, Dana Michel is a Canadian of Caribbean descent whose family hails from the island of Saint Lucia. She describes herself as a live artist. Exploring the world of nuance, Dana caused a stir from the start with her first creations. Since then, she has been refining her exploration of time and improvisation, finding her own way into concepts such as identity, sexuality, and work—in other words, looking for ways to expand her relationship to existence. Each of Dana’s projects exposes her vulnerability and her quest to create more vital space for us all.
MIKE is her fourth major piece programmed by FTA, which previously presented her works YELLOW TOWEL (2013), MERCURIAL GEORGE (2016), and CUTLASS SPRING (2019). In this last decade, her creations have garnered some remarkable accolades. In 2014, she received the ImPulsTanz Award in recognition of creative excellence. In 2017, she was awarded the Silver Lion for Innovation in Dance at the Venice Biennale. And in 2019, she received the International Prize for Live Art from the ANTI Festival (Kuopio, Finland). After receiving support from the Montreal organization Parbleux beginning in 2017, Michel developed her own production company, SCORP CORPS, in parallel with the creation of MIKE. This new professional step provides an opportunity for the artist to deeply reflect on the basic structure needed to support her creative work, while pursuing collaborations with new and long-time artistic and administrative partners.
« Ses spectacles sont toujours jouissifs à regarder. »
Thomas Duret, Arts et Culture, 2019-05-31 about CUTLASS SPRING
« La démarche novatrice de Dana Michel réside en ce qu’elle retourne aux origines de ce que peut vouloir dire l’expression « arts vivants ». […] Dana Michel est une pierre précieuse de l’Art d’aujourd’hui. […] Elle déjoue constamment les expectatives du public. »
Mario Cloutier, En Toutes Lettres, 2019-06-03 about CUTLASS SPRING
« Proposition radicalement différente, la performance de Dana Michel apparait comme un vent de liberté. »
Adrien Kuenzy, 24 Heures, 2019-09-27 about CUTLASS SPRING