Preview: monumental and Godspeed You! Black Emperor

This article is from 2016

Interview: Holy Body Tattoo – 'If the dancers ever got comfortable, we'd have to push it a bit more'

credit: Yannick Grandmont

The risks come thick and fast in Holy Body Tattoo's powerful show, monumental

For most people, dancing on the floor is challenge enough. So hats off to the nine dancers in monumental, who spend over 30 minutes performing energetic movement on pedestals, without toppling off.

'The dancers are very intimate with their boxes,' says Dana Gingras, co-choreographer of Canadian dance company Holy Body Tattoo. 'They're on there from day one of rehearsals, because they spend more than half the piece on them – to the point where you want to scream at them to get off. There are lights inside the boxes that sometimes shine up into their faces, so there's a lot of risk.

'But the piece was built with the boxes in mind, so it was just about getting the dancers used to them – not that I'd say they ever get comfortable, and if they did we'd have to push it a bit more, because part of the risk is there's always that edge.'

Joining Holy Body Tattoo on stage will be fellow Canadian trailblazers, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who will drive all this risky movement along with an intense live score that Gingras says, 'goes right into your bones'.

Edinburgh Playhouse, 8 & 9 Aug, 8pm, £10–£32.


  • 3 stars

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…