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Chameleon artist Dana Michel is hunting for a pulse and to widen the door to her sexual self. A piercing and unexpected look at the liberation of a body.

Do we ever stop needing sexual education? How can we learn to listen to our own instincts amidst the noise of how society tells us we should behave and the expectations of those in our proximity? Chameleon artist Dana Michel probes her personal history and scans the landscape around her on the hunt for a pulse. In order to access her full human potential, she must widen the door to her sexual self.

How do we reinitialize the body in sleep mode, repressed for its own survival? What tools do we use to dig up our buried parts? Dana Michel continues to dissect her identity by exploring zones of sexual limitations and conditioning. With raw energy and movement inching toward freedom and engaging the infinite potential of everyday objects, CUTLASS SPRING confirms the astonishing originality and innate humour of this artist, a 2017 Venice Biennial Silver Lion recipient. An unexpected, piercing look at the liberation of a body.

You are welcome to take part in discussion with the performers after the show.

Created and performed by: Dana Michel
Artistic Activators: Ellen Furey, Peter James, Mathieu Léger, Heidi Louis, Roscoe Michel, Karlyn Percil, Yoan Sorin, Alanna
Sound Consultant: David Drury
Lighting Design: Karine Gauthier
Technical Direction: Caroline Nadeau and Karine Gauthier
Production: Dana Michel
Executive Production: Par B.L.eux

Key Performance – Julia Asperska, Koen Vanhove

Dana Michel is an associate artist at Par B.L.eux

Coproduction: Arsenic - Centre d’art scénique Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland), Rosendal Teater (Trondheim,Norway), Black Box Teater (Oslo, Norway), Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans (France),National Arts Center (Ottawa, Canada), Festival TransAmériques (Montreal, Canada), Julidans(Amsterdam, Netherlands), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Bruxelles, Belgium), Montpellier Danse (France),Moving in November (Helsinki, Finland)

Co-produced with the support of the Visiting Dance Artist Program, a joint initiative of the NationalArts Centre and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Creative residencies: Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans (France), National Arts Center (Ottawa, Canada),CounterPulse (San Francisco, United States), Dancemakers (Toronto, Canada), da:ns lab (Singapore),Galerie du Dourven – Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain (France), Kunstenfestivaldesarts(Belgium), PAF - Performing Arts Forum (France), Par B.L.eux (Montreal, Canada), Usine C (Montreal,Canada), Reykjavik Dance Festival (Iceland), Tanzhaus Zurich (Switzerland)The creation of this work was made possible thanks to the financial support ofCanada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

Written by Elsa Pépin & Dana Michel

Translated by Neil Kroetsch & Dana Michel

She is not present in their pornography. She is not found in their eroticisms.
She is not even a part of her own fantasy world.

CUTLASS SPRING is what sex might mean to me right now.
I will roam inside a question: How might I locate my sexual identity within a multitude of complimentary and seemingly contradictory identities – as a performer, as a mother, as a daughter, as a lover, as a stranger? I will map a sexual education – with all of its embodiments, fabrications, and disassociations.
I will follow these trajectories toward their softest core so as to discover what I hold back and what I make explicit.She will solicit her body and all of the many things that go with her person. She will realize what remains within her for sexual contemplation. Inching towards uncensorship, engaging the infinite potential of everyday objects, CUTLASS SPRING is, at once, a manifesto and a heated reflection, an ethnography of sexual understanding and an archaeology of desire.

Dana Michel & Michael Nardone


« when you’ve spent a lifetime holding back in one area, surely it’s holding other areas back.
time to unravel the knot that i didn’t completely realize existed (yes i did).
why i can’t touch people when i?
why i get confused when there’s more?
why i freeze now ?
what are the consequences of all the holding?
what other casualties have there been?

Dana Michel