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 Post subject: Circa, the Holy Body Tattoo
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 6:07 am 
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Far from the traditional path, a tango that exposes painful, chaotic impulses
By Nadine Meisner for The Independent

Once the tango has bitten you, it's liable to become an obsession, revisited and re-worked over and over. It is a dance, aficionados tell us, about sex, loneliness, despair, death and whatever other dark thought you care to think.

So there isn't a whole load of laughs in the revisiting and reworking of tango by the Canadian duo Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras, who make up Holy Body Tattoo – but then there wouldn't be with a name like that.

How do you find a fresh slant for what is essentially a social dance form founded on a basic pattern of just eight steps? More particularly, how can a single couple in a tiny, cabaret setting find enough variety to keep their audience's interest? In their show Circa, the Holy Body Tattoo solve the problem by straying far from the traditional tango path, weaving other routes around and about.

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 Post subject: Re: Circa, the Holy Body Tattoo
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 5:46 am 
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Circa
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian


So many tango shows have paraded their sexy, stiletto-heeled credentials across UK stages that the dance form is losing its power to pique our imaginations. Circa, danced by the Holy Body Tattoo, makes no claims to authenticity - the two dancers are Canadian and describe themselves as tango tourists. But their training in physical theatre gives their efforts a pungent whiff of the barrio and bordello that can sometimes feel more gutsy than their Argentinian models.

Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras have not only mastered tango basics - its rapier footwork and swooning embrace - but they have the reflex confidence as a couple to let the dance drag them around by the scruffs of their necks. With hearts and groins glued to each other, they throw their bodies headlong into a mutual tussle of will and desire. Their sharp, slicing steps don't simply follow the music's beat but accelerate from the rhythms of teasing to out-and-out attack.

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 Post subject: Re: Circa, the Holy Body Tattoo
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 5:50 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Circa
By AC Grayling for Online Review London


Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras call themselves "The Holy Body Tattoo" because, as Ms Gingras explains, "as creators we have to mine and explore the experiences that our bodies contain. The body never forgets. We have what we call tattoos or scars or wounds, and they tend to come from experiences that have really affected you." In the time that Gagnon and Gingras have been dancing together those tattoos - or scars or wounds - might have been literal ones: these astonishing dancers are performers of risk and limitless physicality, putting every sinew and bone to gruelling test every time they move. It will surprise some that the pair think Circa is a rest from their punishing ultra-physical, even brutal, performances in their past, for in the intimate space of the Pit their physical commitment and daring remains at times almost alarming in intensity.

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 Post subject: Re: Circa, the Holy Body Tattoo
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 3:08 am 
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Sad tangos and surreal clowns
By Ian Shuttleworth for The Financial Times


The Tiger Lillies, that infernal, mesmerising cabaret trio led by accordionist and "castrato" vocalist Martyn Jacques, have developed a taste for collaborative live events in recent years. The best-known such project to British audiences is, of course, the "junk opera" Shockheaded Peter, which combined the musicians with Heinrich Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter tales and Improbable Theatre's playful approach to staging. However, European audiences have also been treated to the Tiger Lillie's Circus and more recently to L'Oratorio D'Aurelia, each featuring bizarre performance components to mesh with the demented polkas, diabolic klezmer and ballads of squalor which are the group's stock in trade.

Circa combines the Tiger Lillies with the core duo of Canadian dance company Holy Body Tattoo for a 70-minute multimedia "celebration of the sensual forces of submission and control".

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 Post subject: Re: Circa, the Holy Body Tattoo
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 5:09 pm 
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Top tunes, terrible tango
Charles Spencer for The Daily Telegraph reviews Circa at the Barbican.


Following the departure of the RSC, the Barbican's BITE programme of international theatre events now offers London a continuous festival of the sublime, the quirky and the downright ridiculous.

And while the RSC, briefly back at its old home, is coming a cropper with its disappointing adaptation of Midnight's Children, two far more appealing shows are playing in the Pit.

Perhaps that should be one and a half shows. The stand-up performer Julian Fox, a former stage-door keeper at the Barbican, is an absolute delight in his one-man show, Goodbye Seattle Coffee Company. And the Tiger Lillies, the terrific avant-garde cabaret band so fondly remembered for their astonishing contribution to the hit show Shockheaded Peter, are in cracking form in Circa, allegedly providing accompaniment to the dance group The Holy Body Tattoo, but actually proving the stars of the show.

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Tango, with no holds barred
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent

Submission and control are what tango is about, and it's not so simple as a question of male dominance and female compliance. I have hugely enjoyed the big, highly polished tango shows that have come here from Argentina. But the psychology of this sexiest of dance forms goes beyond the sharp suits and killer heels. And it's that unspoken dialogue of carnal desire, the subtle advance-and-retreat tactics of seduction, which inform the latest work by the Vancouver-based outfit The Holy Body Tattoo.

Holiness is the last thing that comes to mind. The name stems from the notion that all life experiences leave their mark, and performers Dana Gingras and Noam Gagnon certainly look as if they've lived a bit, as well as done their share of loving. The 70-minute show takes the form of a (very) intimate cabaret, ruched red drapes and plastic chandeliers creating an atmosphere of seedy decadence, projected film of crumbling quartiers of Paris adding location and charm.

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Circa
by Donald Hutera for The Times


STYLISH, if unfulfilling, Circa is cabaret entertainment constructed round the themes of submission and control. Part of the Barbican’s Bite season, the 70-minute performance is a collaboration between the Canadian dance company, the Holy Body Tattoo, and the lovably scabrous English musical trio, the Tiger Lillies.

Much of the work’s appeal stems from the bizarre talents of the composer-singer Martyn Jacques. Hobbling about in a ballooning brocade dress, white face grimacing beneath a black bowler, he’s a figure of sinister camp and melancholic, misanthropic mischief. He accompanies his piercing falsetto on accordion or piano. Excellent support comes from the drum and bass of his only slightly more subdued cohorts, the Adrians Huge and Stout.

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<small>[ 11 February 2003, 06:10 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Circa, the Holy Body Tattoo
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 8:06 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Circa
By David Dougill for The Sunday Times

At the Barbican Pit for the Bite:03 season, ruched red curtains, hanging lanterns and a circular stage provided the cabaret setting for Circa, a collaboration between the dancer-choreographers Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras, of the Canadian dance-theatre company the Holy Body Tattoo, and the British avant-garde musical trio the Tiger Lillies. The Lillies’ leader, Martyn Jacques, in bowler hat, white clown make-up and exaggerated scarlet lips, looks like a cross between Oliver Hardy and Edna Everage. He sounds like the latter, too, with the eldritch shrieks of his castrato-pitched, sibilant singing. The Circus Songs are about low life: pimps, whores, thieves, sexual diseases. The musical performance is a tour de force.

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