Monumental, 8 août 2016 20:00, Edinburgh Playhouse
monumental has been hailed as a landmark in contemporary dance, bringing together two of Canada’s most uncompromising performing arts groups – The Holy Body Tattoo and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Legendary Montreal art-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor inspire awe and devotion among their fans with their apocalyptic, anti-capitalist mini-symphonies combining multilayered guitars and expansive, evocative soundscapes – as well as their uncompromising antagonism towards the corporate music industry.
Vancouver contemporary dance company The Holy Body Tattoo was founded in 1993, and quickly became the punk darlings of the international dance scene, notorious for their frenetic, dance-to-exhaustion choreography that pushes dancers beyond their physical limits in explorations of endurance and human fragility.
Nine dancers writhe furiously on pedestals, obsessively enacting the gestures of everyday life, caught in the machinations of love, war, chaos and death. A live eight-piece rock band pounds expansive, mesmeric music. Rolling text recasts gruesome descriptions of violence as seductive advertising slogans. The result is violent, cathartic, horrifyingly beautiful.
monumental investigates the physical anxiety of urban culture, making explicit the energy and hostility that seethe behind the controlled exteriors of nine contemporary ‘Everypeople’, mounted (or trapped) on pedestals in Marc Parent’s light-sculpted cityscape. In an ever-accelerating climate of greed and ambition, some of the dancers are made larger than life, while others break and topple under the strain. Human connection becomes increasingly difficult, and fragility and the need for intimacy are concealed beneath the city’s physical barriers and the rigidity of social order.
Using a hypnotic, provocative text by conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, and video by director William Morrison, monumental is both a voyeuristic exploration of physical anguish and a celebration of human resilience, as unsettling as it is compelling.
The Holy Body Tattoo
Live music from Godspeed You! Black Emperor