DANA MICHEL is a live artist. Her works interact with the expanded fields of improvisation, choreography, sculpture, comedy, hip-hop, cinematography, techno, poetry, psychology, dub and social commentary to create a centrifuge of experience.
Before graduating from the BFA program in Contemporary Dance at Concordia University in her late twenties, Michel was a marketing executive, and a competitive runner and football player.In 2014, she was awarded the newly created ImPulsTanz Award (Vienna) in recognition for outstanding artistic accomplishments, and was highlighted among notable female choreographers of the year by the New-York Times. In 2017, Michel was awarded the Silver Lion for Innovation in Dance at the Venice Biennale. In 2018, she became the first ever dance artist in residence at the National Arts Centre, Canada. In 2019, she was awarded the ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art (Kuopio, Finland).
Based in Montreal, Dana is currently touring three solo works: YELLOW TOWEL, MERCURIAL GEORGE and CUTLASS SPRING.
An amalgam of intuitive improvisation, choreography, and performance art, my practice is rooted in publicly exploring the multiplicity of being. I work with notions of performative alchemy and lucid dreaming – using personal history, current preoccupations, and future desires to create an empathic centrifuge of live moments between myself and those present.
Today, my work can perhaps be described by some of its influences and inhabitations: sculpture, comedy, hip-hop, cinematography, techno, poetry, psychology, dub and social commentary.
In research, I alternate between the work that takes place in and out of the studio. I weave in and out of pouring over a subject — via writing, reading, video, and discussion — and relaxing my focus, letting the body take over. I feed myself with sound, silence, and dissonance – at times over-stuffing my body and psyche with stimulation to encounter its response. Minute details pop into my kinetic vision ‑manifesting movements, resonations, colours, textures, and certain experiences of light. These details clarify the trajectory of the work.
Using difficulty as a navigational methodology comes naturally and coerces my performances into places of vulnerability and discovery. This is where I am able to listen at closest range, and to share with the least hesitation. Thinking about beings as mathematical proofs or portals, made up of billions of possibilities, deepens this listening.
My offering is a repository that remains open to interpretation, a vast space for encountering and broadening one’s own logic of seeing and experiencing.