The Holy Body Tattoo, Poetry and Apocalypse

Review in Issue 7-3 | Autumn 1995

Noam Gangon and Dana Gingras, the dancers in the Canadian company Holy Body Tattoo, throw themselves into their work with determination leaving little space for doubt. Poetry and Apocalypse took place in an apocalyptic civilisation in terminal decay. The set, and instruments played by Paul Gregory and Jean-Yves Therlault, were constructed of metal and junk, the soundtrack comprised of sounds of disintegration.

The dancing drew from eurocrash, but unlike the more usual sanitised version, these dancers used all their strength and stamina to push as far as endurance would allow. The dancers remained mainly close to the floor in sequences of rolls and twists that slammed them against the floor, working in unison or as a duet (a man and a woman rolling around on the floor together seems puzzling fare for the Pride Arts Festival). When they did come to standing the inevitable outcome was a manoeuvre sending them hurtling to the floor.

The piece was in three parts: slow, much faster, and slow again. The fast section was memorable for the stamina required in the performers: long sequences of movement repeated at an impossible to sustain pace. One wondered how long it would go on for, as the dancers fought with exhaustion to keep pace with the score. The musicians were equally frenzied, but their labours had a more tangible result. In the final section it was fascinating to see the dancers moving through their exhaustion.

It was sad that the publicity had not been more effective because this company deserved a larger audience than they had.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 1995

This article in the magazine

Issue 7-3
p. 24