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Meet The Artists

This video is only available in French.
Read the transcript of this interview.


Noam Gagnon

The Holy Body Tattoo

(1963- )

Noam Gagnon met Dana Gingras in the late 1980s while both were dancing for EDAM (Experimental Dance and Music) in Vancouver. They later worked together as dancers for Le Groupe Dance Lab in Ottawa before returning to Vancouver to start their own company, The Holy Body Tattoo, in 1993. The company's name references how life experiences become inscribed on the body, permanently marking and changing it.

The film version of their work Poetry and Apocalypse (1994) has been shown at more than sixteen international film festivals and has received numerous awards and accolades. In 1997, The Holy Body Tattoo was nominated for more than one Dora Mavor Moore Award for our brief eternity (1996) and won for Best Ensemble Performance. In our brief eternity, the movements of the three dancers on stage are perfectly synchronized with the movements in a video of three dancers in different costumes and shot from different angles performing the same choreography.

Circa (2000) is a full-length work using the tango form to investigate desire and intimacy, which is set to live accompaniment by the band Tiger Lillies. It has toured internationally to countries including Croatia, Italy and Switzerland. Circa was also performed in London at the Barbican International Theatre and in Germany where Pina Bausch invited them to appear at the Ein Fest in Wuppertal. In 2000, Circa won the inaugural Alcan Performing Arts Award – Dance, administered by the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.

In 2004, Gagnon and Gingras premiered Running Wild, a program of solos and duets. The Holy Body Tattoo's largest ensemble work, monumental (2005), features nine dancers, and was commissioned by the National Arts Centre–CGI's Youth Commission for Dance, a partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts.


The Holy Body Tattoo

Learn more:

Miller, Robin J. “The Holy Body Tattoo’s monumental Development.” The Dance Current 7.8 (March 2005): 18-22.