(working title, creation 2019)
“I’ve always been obsessed with…“sex stuff”. My much older sister majored in Psychology in university, and so I spent my childhood often sneakily pouring over her textbooks, always particularly fascinated with her human sexuality textbooks. These memories came flooding back this past year when my five-year old started receiving special sexual education workshops at his daycare. It made me think that it was time to renew my own sex ed knowledge.
Though I use the body and movement extensively in my work as a live artist, I have noticed an increasing disconnection with myself as a sexual being over the past 20 years. This widening fissure has stricken me as particularly troubling as i have always had this particularly keen interest in sexual investigation and even a latent (and admittedly giggly!) interest in becoming a sexologist. In my past two works, I have, to some extent, been exploring the idea of repression – how I had been repressing certain aspects of my cultural identity and the repercussions of this kind of withholding. Moving further towards uncovering buried facets of my human composition, I would now like to delve into what has become the mystery of my sexual self and how it affects me as a human, a performer, a mother, a lover.
A couple of major questions, for instance:
-How does a lifetime of hiding affect how we connect to others?
-What are the effects of repression on how one loves, how one shares physical space with others, and how one shares their body with others?
I have in some ways been constantly researching for this next solo and have certainly been actively mulling over this next creation since late 2016, but I will now put a particular focus on developing material for this new solo performance over the next 18 months aiming for a 60-minute production premiere in the spring/summer of 2019.
I look forward to investigating and creating alongside some tested and trusted artistic collaborators such as visual artist Yoan Sorin, performance maker and pedagogue Peter James, multimedia artist Mathieu Léger, sound artist David Drury and lighting designer Karine Gauthier. I will also integrate some new research collaborators who I believe it could be particularly interesting to dialogue with about this topic – dancer and performance maker Ellen Furey and singer/songwriter and journalist Alanna Stuart. I consider all of these collaborators to be activators, sounding and spring boards for my process.” (Dana Michel on SEX ED)
Provisional co-producers for SEX ED are Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels – BE), Festival TransAmériques (Montreal – CA), Montpellier Danse Festival (Montpellier – FR), National Arts Centre (Ottawa – CA), Julidans (Amsterdam – NL), Teaterhuset Avant Garden (Trondheim – NO), Arsenic (Lausanne – CH). The list of supporters is still under development.
In 2018 work-in-progress performances of SEX ED will be taking place at Suoni Per Il Popolo (Montreal, Canada) in June; Galerie du Dourven (Trédrez Locquémeau, France) in July; Mercer Union, Centre for Contemporary Art (Toronto, Canada) in August; Performatorium Festival (Regina, Canada) in September; da:ns lab (Singapore) and Performance Art Biennial (Rouyn-Noranda, Canada) in October; as well as at Musée d’art contemporain (Montreal, Canada), tba.