The creation and production of MIKE is a commitment to highlighting the idea that without trust in ourselves and in others, it is impossible to safely live public lives that reflect our interior lives. We are sure to stagnate in a state of half-life and disharmony… gridlocked in the endless traffic of not knowing how to respect or even truly recognize the other. WE MUST LEARN HOW TO TRUST THE OTHER. We must first trust OUR «TRUE» SELVES in order to do this work.
And so, with this work, I have created a list of three “musts”… around which I will sculpt a performative proposal:
1) I/YOU/THEY MUST TRUST that we cannot healthily and consistently continue to work within modalities and environments that weren’t designed for a diversity of minds and hope to thrive or even survive;
2) I/YOU/THEY MUST TRUST that “the arts” is where a large percentage of humans with highly diverse minds come for respite and in pursuit of flourishing. Artists, audiences and cultural workers alike come looking for a safer space to build other possibilities for existing in the world, and we could all benefit greatly from shifting into a modality that reflects more recognition of this diversity of minds in our day-to-day working practices;
3) I/YOU/THEY MUST TRUST and believe in my/ your/their interior experiences in order to advocate for them and therefore to build sustainable and possibly helpful-to-others futures. We must model self-respect.
These musts are to be explored via a performative reflection on “work” culture. I will reflect on my business education and office work past, on my personal and professional administrative present, and on a conjuring of a working revolutionary and inclusive future.
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.
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 – technical direction: Romain Guillet
Sound consultant: David Drury
Production: SCORP CORPS – Viva Delorme, Dana Michel
Distribution: Key Performance
Co-production : Arsenic, Centre d’art scénique contemporain (Lausanne, Switzerland), Centre national des Arts (Ottawa, Canada), Festival TransAmériques (Montreal, Canada), Julidans Amsterdam (Netherlands), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels, Belgium), MDT Stockholm (Sweden), Montpellier Danse (France), Moving in November (Helsinki, Finland), Wexner Center for the Arts of the Ohio State University in Columbus (Colombus, Ohio, USA).
Creative residencies : Alkantara (Lisbon, Portugal), ANTI Festival (Kuopio, Finland), Centre national des Arts (Ottawa, Canada), Kinosaki International Arts Center and Kyoto Experiment (Japan), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels, Belgium), Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt, Germany), La petite Place des Arts (Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc, Québec, Canada), Montpellier Danse, creation residency at Agora, cité internationale de la danse, with support from BNP Paribas Foundation, RIMI/IMIR SceneKunst (RISK) (Stavanger, Norway), Shedhalle (Zürich, Switzerland) with the kind support of Tanzhaus Zürich and the Embassy of Canada in Switzerland, The Chocolate Factory (NYC, USA).
The creation of this work is being made possible thanks to the financial support of Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie and Conseil des Arts de Montréal.