APRIL 24 TO MAY 2, 2021

In order to recapture the interactivity that was to be an integral part of their live performance, the Polymorphic Microbe Bodies team invites you to join them for a free Zoom activity on April 29.

37 minutes

Hanna Sybille Müller & Erin Robinsong

Polymorphic Microbe Bodies

A living body. Or a laboratory of sensations. The audience is choreographed by the experience. A process inspired by the cohabitation of multiple species. How is a human being simultaneously host to a diversity of entities and one of the organisms of this ecosystem? How is this proliferation of life negotiated, experienced, felt? Alternately a germ, a bacterium, and an observer, the viewer is at once the canvas, the artwork, and the experiencer of this somatic video, through which they are invited to not just see dance, but to perceive it with all of their body.

VIEWING SUGGESTIONS: The binaural sound in this video is best experienced with headphones. We recommend taking a comfortable position, ideally lying down. Closing your eyes can enhance listening and sensation. It is not necessary to look at the screen the whole time; you can also simply listen with your eyes closed, and shift at your own rhythm.

Choreographer and poet Erin Robinsong

Choreographer and performer Hanna Sybille Müller

Performers and collaborators Diego Gil, Hanako Hoshimi-Caines, Emmanuel Jouthe, Lara Oundjian

Dramaturg Adam Kinner

Biologist and scientific advisor Merlin Sheldrake

Lighting designer Tiffanie Boffa

Musician Michel F. Côté

Costume designer Emily Watts-Luciani

Costume assistant Edwin Isford

Compost chandelier maker Andrew Forster

Process witness Nayla Naoufal

In our previous collaboration, revolutions, we conducted interviews on the topic of revolutions with experts from different fields. One of them was a biologist who spoke about the microbial communities that we are. An ‘individual’, biologically speaking, is a fiction: we are more like a planet, composed of ecosystems, inhabitants and relationships. In the studio we translated these ideas into choreographic material. This material didn’t end up in revolutions because it was too different from the rest; it was the beginning of a whole new piece. In creating Polymorphic Microbe Bodies, we asked ourselves: Why is dance, a somatic art, so often perceived primarily visually? How can we create a work that engages audiences’ felt, somatic senses? Following these questions meant a completely new process for us; we took turns giving each other sensorial and linguistic experiences and through trial, error, research, and play, this piece emerged.

Erin Robinsong is a poet and interdisciplinary artist working with ecological imagination. She is the author of Liquidity (House House Press) and Rag Cosmology (Book*hug), and the winner of the 2017 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. A new book of poetry is forthcoming with Brick Books in 2022. Collaborative performance works with Andréa de Keijzer and Hanna Sybille Müller include This ritual is not an accident (2016); Facing away from that which is coming (2017); and Müller’s revolutions (2018). Originally from Cortes Island, Erin lives in Montréal.

Hanna Sybille Müller is a choreographer, dancer, and dramaturge living in Montréal. Her work focuses on language, movement, and their interrelations. She is interested in both language’s and the body’s strange, magic, and ordinary potencies and how they affect each other. Recent works include revolutions (2018) and transposition (2016). As a choreographer, she has collaborated with Andréa de Keijzer, Erin Robinsong, and Eva Meyer-Keller. Since immigrating in 2015, she has developed a social choreography called Soup-text Series. She studied dance at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie (RDA) and received a diploma in media studies at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) in 2012.

Diego Gil is a choreographer, performer, and philosopher who studied in Amsterdam at the School for New Dance Development (BA) and Das Choreography (MA), and who holds a PhD from Concordia University’s Interdisciplinary Humanities program. The title of his thesis is A Study on the “Intervals of Perception” and the “Architectures of Experience”: towards Schizosomatics. He combines the study of somatic practices with process philosophy to think alternative spaces for research-creation specific to the performing arts.

Hanako Hoshimi-Caines is engaged with dance, performance-making, and philosophy as a way to see, feel, and love better. And what she means by love is an ambiguous kind of knowledge that is embodied, transformative and involves time and intimacy with things. Interested in the performativity and humour of alternate logics, she gets much inspiration and material from the radicalness and disobedience of her kid’s senses. Hanako has worked and collaborated extensively in Montréal and internationally.

For 20 years now, Emmanuel Jouthe has created many pieces. In search of a sincere, close relationship between the spectator and dance, he encourages exploration and creation by questioning the body and movement through scenic territories and diverse artistic relations, as well as through concepts such as the Other, Beauty, and Authenticity. In addition to ÉCOUTE POUR VOIR, a flagship project created in 2008, his repertoire includes STACCATO RIVIÈRE (2007) and WHEN WE WERE OLD (2013), trio and duo in which he danced, as well as CINQ HUMEURS (2010) and SUITES PERMÉABLES (2017), group pieces.

Lara Oundjian is a shapeshifter, a strong and vulnerable flesh sack, a research junkie, a skill chaser, and a DIY experimenter. Transformation is the underlying event of her practice, the recurring ghost of her fascinations. She approaches performance through a practice of relationality, where the body is dynamically entangled with its environment. A Montréal-based dance artist and choreographer working with hybrid performance forms, Lara has presented work at Tangente, La Chapelle/Festival Phénomena, and Espace Mur Mur. Her solo Leaky Immediation / Transcorporeal Creeping will be presented at the OFFTA in May 2020. Lara was an artist in residence at Studio 303 in 2018. She is an artist in residence at the 3rd Floor Projects at Usine C from 2019-2021.

Adam Kinner (Washington, D.C., 1984) is an artist living and working in Montréal. Having trained in music, he makes work on the thresholds of performance, sound, and visual arts, collaborating with artists from dance and music. His work has been shown recently at the Foreman Gallery (Sherbrooke), the Art Gallery of York University (Toronto), Artexte (Montréal), and the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides.

Merlin Sheldrake is a tropical ecologist and microbiologist based in London. He received a Ph.D. in Tropical Ecology from Cambridge University. His research has focused on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, based at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He has lectured on a wide variety of topics from microbial subjects to Amazonian ethnobotany, from early-modern beer brewing practices to the relationship between sound and form in resonant systems. He is a musician and performer, playing piano and the accordion. He is currently writing a book on fungi, forthcoming with Random House in 2020.

Tiffanie Boffa is a creator, performer, and designer. She has been doubling as a professional contemporary dancer and designer for three years now. She graduated from Concordia University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design for the Theatre. She is particularly interested in lighting, using it to create sensorial-visual atmospheres informed by her background in dance. Her lighting designs can be seen in both theatre and dance, from the image-based creation Maríc at the Lake, directed by Cathia Pagotto, to dance with Mandala, created by Kurtis Mitchell, and the sensorial experience of Polymorphic Microbe Bodies, co-choreographed by Erin Robinsong and Hanna Sybille Müller, presented by Tangente.

A ubiquitous musician and composer, Michel F Côté was born in Montréal the year the submarine USS Nautilus made history by travelling under the North Pole’s ice cap. He composes a great deal for theatre and dance projects (Robert Lepage, Brigitte Haentjens, Marie Brassard, José Navas, Aurélie Pedron, and Ginette Laurin, among others). Indeed, he has over a hundred projects under his belt, making him a very prolific composer/designer. He has partnered up with Catherine Tardif as co-artistic directors for the dance company Et Marianne et Simon. Since 1990, he has appeared on more than sixty albums. He is associated with the Ambiances Magnétiques label, on top of being the co-founder of the label &records. He is now running a brand-new label, Sono Sordo. We can find him backing up these acts: Mecha Fixes Clocks, Klaxon Gueule, Pink Saliva, Jane & the magic bananas, Vulgarités, and Tiari Kese – a duo with himself.

Born in Beirut and based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Nayla Naoufal works as a writer, cultural mediator, translator, and researcher in the arts and environmental humanities. Her interests lie especially in situated practices of care, decolonial artistic practices, and alternative modes of co-inhabiting the world. Nayla collaborates in particular with artists working with environmental concepts-practices, artists whose work is informed by non-Western knowledge, and Indigenous artists. She has an interdisciplinary background, with experience in research, journalism and education, and a PhD in Environmental Science. As MAI’s (Montréal, arts interculturels) artistic support coordinator, Nayla works with and for underrepresented artists.

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