To get ferocious results for her latest work, New Animal, notoriously edgy dance choreographer Dana Gingras pushed established dancers to their limits - and then pushed them harder. And then she made them fight over lemons.
The result is a highly intense multi-media performance that has Vancouver's 605 Collective dancers getting wild with their animal instincts.
New Animal was recently opened by Crimson Coast Dance Society and is coming to Nanaimo's Port Theatre Nov. 9. Holly Bright, artistic director of Crimson Coast Dance Society, said New Animal is a contemporary dance fusing gymnastics, martial arts, hip hop and movement.
"The journey starts very simply and builds to a high level of excitement and intensity and resolves into this beautiful essence of humanity," she said.
"I think people will be blown away by the prowess of the artists. And they get to go along for the ride."
Bright said Gingras - who co-founded the Holy Body Tattoo dance company and has choreographed Arcade Fire videos - pushed the dancers to a place where they couldn't rely on habits anymore. When they hit a physical wall, she introduced something unexpected.
"She introduced the lemon and she asked them to fight over it like dogs fight over a toy. That, in part, was inspired by her own pets. She has two fierce terrier dogs. They fight over things and they go after things," Bright said.
"I suspect she chose lemons because it's such a sensate experience that would take (dancers) even deeper into their bodies."
Bright said the result of Gingras's lemon tactic is a statement about human instinct as individuals and in a group mentality: "This idea of finding the inner animal instinct as that deepest part of ourselves that we call on."
In the days before the performance, Nov. 7 and 8, artistic directors Josh Martin and Lisa Gelley will teach a movement workshop in Nanaimo, which can be registered for at crimsoncoastdance. org. No dance experience is necessary.
Bright's company also has taken photos of known Nanaimo residents such as city councillors posing with lemons that will be posted around town prior to the performance. Daily News reporters Julie Chadwick and Cara McKenna took part in the shoot.
New Animal starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre on Nov. 9. Tickets are $32, $28 for CCDS members or $22 for students with valid ID. Buy at the Port Theatre Box Office, 250-754-8550.
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