Canada // Dance // Music  


Must-see dance show of the year

June 14 – 15, 2016

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monumental is an explosion of contemporary dance and post-rock music from Vancouver’s The Holy Body Tattoo and Montreal’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor that shatters the façade of capitalist urban culture. 

monumental is a raw, fearless, sometimes harrowing trip in to the darkest corners of our urban, urbane, post-9/11 psyches

— The Ottawa Citizen
Nine dancers balance on top of illuminated pedestals that resemble a miniature city. A projected backdrop evokes a gritty urban vision. Live music from an eight piece band echoes through the Hearn.

This June, after a 10-year hiatus, Vancouver's explosive contemporary dance company The Holy Body Tattoo return to the world-tour circuit, reuniting with Montreal's post-rock legends Godspeed You! Black Emperor to bring their epic collaboration, monumental, to Toronto. Together, they hold up a mirror to modern life, exposing mass isolation, oppression, repetition, and despair. Movement turns into metaphor and sound into substance as the human need for intimacy and individuality breaks through the noise. 

Following a sold-out run in Vancouver, this is a rare opportunity to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor, one of this country’s most legendary and influential musical acts, live in performance with The Holy Body Tattoo. Rocking the Hearn music stage, and monumental in name and resonance, this show is as violent, beautiful and cathartic as art can get.
Co-produced by National Arts Centre, Ottawa; PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver; Adelaide Festival of Arts; Place des Arts Montréal; Luminato Festival, Toronto; Edinburgh International Festival; BAM for the Next Wave Festival


“monumental is a raw, fearless, sometimes harrowing trip in to the darkest corners of our urban, urbane, post-9/11 psyches: isolation, mistrust, aggression, herd mentality, fear, longing for connection and intimacy.”
– The Ottawa Citizen
“More art than dance, the highly visual work of The Holy Body Tattoo skyrockets dance theatre into new realms.”
– The Washington Post
“A very contemporary piece about our boxed-in, urban, technology-driven, high-pressure lives.”
– The Globe and Mail
“A twitchy, mad vision of contemporary life”
– Edmonton Journal
“A monumental achievement.”
– The Georgia Straight

Participating Artists

DANCE - The Holy Body Tattoo
DANCE The Holy Body Tattoo
The Holy Body Tattoo
The Holy Body Tattoo is a now defunct award-winning Canadian contemporary dance company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Formed in 1993 by co-artistic directors and choreographers Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras, who had performed together since 1987, and also Jean-Yves Thériault composer-musician and co-founder of Voivod, initially as a multi-media dance company, they have performed throughout Canada, Europe, Asia, and the United States, and received international critical acclaim as well.
DANCE - The Holy Body Tattoo
Music - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Music Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor began in the early 90s, playing a handful of shows and recording a self-released cassette as a trio before deciding to transform the group into a large band. Recruiting numerous Montreal musicians through 1995-1996, GYBE mounted sense-rattling wall-of-sound performances before recording their debut vinyl-only Constellation album in 1997. The band toured and recorded incessantly from 1998-2002 and gained a reputation for mesmerising live shows marked by orchestral dynamics, epic rock power and clunky, beautiful film loops. After four records, GYBE announced an indefinite hiatus in 2003; which lasted until December 2010, when the band returned to perform at All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK, followed by extensive international touring. October 2012 saw the release of 'ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND!, their first recorded work in a decade, to widespread critical acclaim.

Music - Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Creative Team

Choreographers Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras, with composer Jean-Yves Theriault (co-founder of the rock group Voivod), came together in 1992 to create the performing unit known as The Holy Body Tattoo. Their works often comment on modern life through repetitive and strenuous physical movement that pushes performers to the point of exhaustion. This technique is based on the idea that the secrets locked within the body will be revealed when pushed to its limit. They have performed throughout Canada, Europe, Asia, and the United States, and received international critical acclaim as well.

Dana Gingras

Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Caroline Gravel
Louise-Michel Jackson
Kim de Jong
Shay Kuebler
Nic Lydiate
Louis-Elyan Martin
Esther Rousseau-Morin
Sovann Prom Tep
Jamie Wright

Sarah Williams

Marc Parent

Jenny Holzer

William Morrison

Marilène Bastien

Chantal Bachand

Dave Bourdages

Claudia Couture

Yann Dupuis

Sarah Rogers

Animals of Distinction

David Sefton

Yannick Grandmont

Dig Deeper


Falling Body: Master Class with monumental choreographer Dana Gingras
for dance professionals

You're walking. And you don't always realize it, but you're always falling. With each step you fall forward slightly. And then catch yourself from falling. Over and over, you're falling. And then catching yourself from falling. And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time.” — Laurie Anderson 

This class will be presented as a series of kinetic explorations combining skills and practices of walking, falling, rolling, releasing, giving and supporting weight. Drawn from various systems that aim to establish connections that develop a freedom and efficiency of movement, and simultaneously awaken the senses and strengthen the nervous system. Special attention will be paid to increase the functional capacity and fluid articulation of the spine. Working from a supple, dynamic core participants will be led through task-based exercises to generate movement that further explores the concepts of gravity and anti-gravity while expanding a sense of three dimensional spatial awareness.


Elgin Rehearsal Hall, 158 Victoria Street


Wednesday, June 15
11 AM – 1 PM

How to Register:

$35 fee (registration required / 25 participants maximum per session)
To register for the workshops send an email with your resume and a brief paragraph about your interest to workshops@luminato.com.