A quirky plunge into the unconventional universe of an inimitable performer. Bizarre, but also comical. Dana Michel is a free electron, spinning under boundless skies
Dana Michel has conducted an archeologic dig on herself. Now she wades through heaps of her own debris – struggling for balance and toehold.
Full of audacity and unbridled imagination, Canadian dancer and choreographer Dana Michel has already won over audiences all over the world. In 2014 she visited the Bastard festival with the performance Yellow Towel. She returns with the sequel Mercurial George, where she has been inventing her own body language based on questionings of her roots and her own marginality.
Bizarre, but also comical, her universe is bathed in childhood naiveté and sacred mystery. In the search for answers and toehold she investigates shapes and materials, reinventing sculptural forms in plastics, elastics, and doughs. The uncanny and quirky, as well as her own ethnicity and identity, are important themes with Michel, who describes Mercurial George as ”another ground to test skins that belong to me”.
I only just got a bit of dirt under the nails with the last thing. Now wading through the hairy rubble of a preliminary anthropological dig. So much debris! I couldn’t have predicted how much debris there would be and how much work I had created for myself in waking this beast. But they needed waking. I have seen the eyes and I’m circling, skipping, daintily lifting limbs and sniffing its scent. What is the smell of a plethora of someones that you have been avoiding your whole life? What do you do with the body? This is another science experiment. This is another ground on which to test skins that belong to me, outfits and ideas that may or may not have been imposed. (Dana Michel)
Instinctive Intuition. Dana Michel is inimitable. Unique. The choreographer doesn’t dance so much as dare, taking risks and inventing her own body language based on questionings of her roots. Her strange, quirky work, her audacity and her unbridled imagination have won over audiences here and abroad, and she is now a sought-after live artist. Make no mistake – this Montreal artist has captivated the world of contemporary stage performance.
In the wake of the acclaimed Yellow Towel, Mercurial George traces and transforms the banal, provoking a certain malaise. Wading through the heaps of debris that remain after a dig through marginality and cultural heritage, Dana Michel offers a destabilizing solo. The body vacillates as it struggles for balance and a toehold. Stretching out time with minimalist and deconstructed movement, Michel becomes the archeologist of her own persona. Bizarre, but also comical, her universe is bathed in childhood naiveté and sacred mystery. Intuitive, free and dissident, Dana Michel breaks the mould and shifts points of view.
(Source: Elsa Pepin)
“Michel’s poetic relationship to things is insistent. She investigates shapes and materials, reinventing sculptural forms in plastics, elastics, and doughs. Her work carves pathways through the felt, stuttering persuasively in moving registers of performance. Witty as well as socially astute, her performances loosen feeling. She withholds her body’s outlines (deferring visual recognition) while claiming opacity’s metamorphic scope. Mercurial George vibrates; it vibrates with me still.”
(Source : VK Preston, Performance Studies Scholar, Brown University/University of Toronto)