Dana Michel har utført en arkeologisk utgraving på seg selv. Nå vasser hun ustøtt gjennom restene av sitt eget avfall – på jakt etter fotfeste.
Full av frekkhet og utemmet fantasi, har den kanadiske koreografen og danseren Dana Michel allerede begeistret publikum i en rekke land. I 2014 besøkte hun Bastard med forestillingen Yellow Towel, nå kommer hun med oppfølgeren Mercurial George. Der har hun rett og slett funnet opp sitt eget kroppsspråk, etter å ha utforsket sin egen etniske og kulturelle identitet og marginalitet.
I et bisart, men vittig univers, gjennomsyret av barndommens naivitet og hellige mysterier, vakler Michel gjennom restene av seg selv. På jakt etter svar kjemper hun for balanse, og prøver å finne fotfeste mellom turkis deig, kjøkkenredskaper, leker, poser, mikrofoner og andre objekter som fyller scenen. Det ubehagelige og merkelige, og forholdet til sin egen etnisitet og identitet, er sentrale tema hos Michel, som beskriver Mercurial George som ”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)
– 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)