Dana Gingras spent her formative years living in South America and the United Kingdom. She moved to Canada and became involved in contemporary dance at the age of 18. Her 30 year career has moved across mediums and artistic practices and has established her has a game-changing, boundary-pushing artist. Gingras is drawn to amplifying the sense of physical possibility, what bodies are capable of and allowing that to become manifold and present in the most innovative fashion possible.
In 1993, she co-founded The Holy Body Tattoo. The company changed the landscape of Canadian dance, earning numerous awards and honours for its stage and film work. Upon moving to Montreal in 2006 she went on to form Animals of Distinction (AoD) which functions as a type of framework for contemporary practice, as a point of intersection where the social kinaesthetic, and the possibilities of physical thinking can be visualized in choreographic ideas with different collaborations and with other art forms.
The work of AoD has been presented nationally and internationally across many different platforms including live performance, film, design, visual art and new media. Works include Smash Up, Heart As Arena, Chain Reaction, What Is Mine Is Yours, Somewhere Between Maybe and anOther in collaboration with Berlin based musicians group A and Montreal dancer/media artist Sonya Stefan. Most recently Dana created Chute Libre an immersive film with original text and narration by Marie Brassard and commissioned music by Roger Tellier-Craig. Created through a residency at La Société des arts Technologiques, it premiered at the SATOSPHÈRE April 2nd 2019.
In 2016 under the direction of Gingras, AoD produced The Holy Body Tattoo’s last work monumental (2005), this time with Godspeed You! Black Emperor playing live. The work has toured to many of the major festivals in the world including PuSh Festival, Adelaide Festival, Luminato Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, BAM’s NEXT WAVE Festival, ROMAEUROPA in Italy, the MONA FOMA Festival in Tasmania and Barbican Centre, London.
Photo : Austin Young