The Holy Body Tattoo

On tour, a dance company makes tough choices about which dances to present in what is often a single shot at attracting an audience. In a partial solution, the Holy Body Tattoo can be seen live in monumental at UCLA later this month, and on film in two other signature dances starting this week. Since 1987, this Canadian company, led by choreographers Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras, has made waves with its intense repertoire commenting on modern urban angst, sometimes set to sexy tangos, sometimes backed by the droning repetition of an industrial landscape. Films of Circa and Our Brief Eternity screen for three weeks, with the opening-night reception included in this month’s Downtown Art Walk. Set to a seductive tango and described by the Vancouver Sun as a “dead sexy masterpiece” considering erotic and political issues of submission and control, Circa is also a chance to see the choreographers as dancers. In contrast, Our Brief Eternity uses everyday gestures repeated and amplified into commentary on contemporary culture’s obsession with acquisition and accumulation. Later this month, the company takes over the Royce Hall stage with monumental, another consideration of contemporary urban culture with stunning visual effects that include dancers on uplit boxes suggesting chess pieces poised to be moved, and move they will. The films screen at Dance Camera West at L.A. Center for Digital Art, 107 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; opening night Thurs., April 13, 6-9 p.m.; Wed.-Sat., noon-5 p.m.; thru May 6; free. (213) 480-8633 or Live show at UCLA Royce Hall, Wstwd.; Fri.-Sat., April 21-22, 8 p.m.; $42-$20. (310) 825-2101 or

—Ann Haskins

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