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Dana Michel Mercurial George & Lay them all down (Screening)

A double screening exploring the meaning of “identity” in our world today

With her unique physical language informed by sculpture, cinematography, and psychology among other fields, Canadian choreographer Dana Michel disrupts the social conventions that underlie our everyday. Her work has been presented in various parts of the world to great acclaim, and now Kyoto Experiment is introducing her to audiences here with a double screening: a recording of her solo work Mercurial George, which she has staged on numerous occasions since 2016, and her latest video work Lay them all down (2020).

Mercurial George uses meticulous gestures, sounds, and songs to ask very universal yet personal questions: “Where does identity come from? How do you find it for yourself and how is it placed on you? How can one’s identity register or fail to cohere in relationship to objects, feelings and affectation?” Meanwhile, Lay them all down is a video work that premiered at this year’s 11th Berlin Biennale amid the coronavirus crisis, a collaboration with visual artist Tracy Maurice based around a live performance. Michel is seen moving from one museum space to the next while constantly changing in appearance—in a men’s suit one moment, wrapped in rugs the next—and establishing her own self through channeling mental states and emotions such as anger, sexuality, confusion, power, and joy. Don’t miss this opportunity to fully experience Michel’s subtle and rich world of dance!

  • #dance
  • #hiphop
  • #identity
  • #improvisational
  • #sculpture
  • #solo

2.20 (Sat) 15:00

Doors open 30 min. prior to the screening.

Total Duration: 100 min
Mercurial George: 60min
Lay Them All Down: 30min

There will be a pre-talk with the Kyoto Experiment co-directors.
Age limit:
Audiences aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Dana Michel


Dana Michel
Photo by Richmond Lam

Born in Ottawa, Canada in 1976, Dana Michel is a choreographer and live artist based in Montreal. Her works interact with the expanded fields of improvisation, sculpture, hip-hop, comedy, cinematography, dub, and social commentary to create an empathetic centrifuge of experience. Before graduating from the BFA program in Contemporary Dance at Concordia University in her late twenties, Michel was a marketing executive, competitive runner and football player. In 2014 she was awarded the Prix Jardin d’Europe at lmPulsTanz, and was highlighted among notable female choreographers of the year by the New York Times. In 2017, she was awarded the Silver Lion for Innovation in Dance at the Venice Biennale. Recently, she was awarded the ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art. She is currently touring three solo performance works, Yellow Towel (2013), Mercurial George (2016) and CUTLASS SPRING (2019). She is associate artist with Par B. L. eux.

Mercurial George
Conceived and performed by Dana Michel
Lighting and technical direction: Karine Gauthier
Artistic Advisors: Martin Bélanger, Peter James, Mathieu Léger, Roscoe Michel, Yoan Sorin
Sound Consultant: David Drury
Production: Dana Michel
Executive Production: Par B.L.eux
Distribution: Key Performance – Anna Skonecka, Koen Vanhove Co-produced by CDC Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson (Paris), Chapter (Cardiff), Festival TransAmériques (Montréal), ImPulsTanz (Vienna), Tanz im August (Berlin)
Creative residencies: Usine C (Montréal), Dancemakers (Toronto), ImPulsTanz (Vienna), Actoral/La Friche Belle de Mai (Marseille), WOOP (Douarnenez), CDC Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson (Paris), M.A.I. (Montréal)
The creation of this work was made possible thanks to the financial support of Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec

Lay them all down, 2020 Video, color, sound, 30min
Courtesy of Dana Michel and Tracy Maurice
Commissioned and co-produced by the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
With the support of Canada Council for the Arts
Sponsorship: Embassy of Canada to Japan
Presented by Kyoto Experiment, Kyoto Performing Arts Center at Kyoto University of the Arts