We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
More art than dance, the highly visual work of the Holy Body Tattoo skyrockets dance theater into new realms. Like a black-and-white photo seen as it develops, HBT’s tight, fast, repetitive movement slowly sears itself onto the mind, clearly and indelibly. This is where the “tattoo” comes in: Dancer-choreographers Dana Gingras and Noam Gagnon believe that life’s experiences mark the soul, just as a tattoo marks the body—permanently. Most of the movement takes place on the floor, as if driven by violent impulses. The dancers stand up only to fall back down. With their bodies in constant contact with the floor, they execute fantastic circular flips and roll at dangerous speeds into each other’s arms. In their most recent piece, our brief eternity, Gingras and Gagnon are joined by dancer Chantale Deeble. HBT’s use of music, film, and strobe lights works to disengage the conscious mind’s defenses, like a ’60s psychedelic experiment. Jean-Yves Theriault, co-founder of ’80s rock group Voivod, composes the percussive, guitar-heavy soundtracks that buoy their work. Writer-filmmaker Chris Halcrow and William Gibson of Neuromancer fame wrote the text that underlies eternity. Gingras and Gagnon embrace recent musical culture wholeheartedly, from the ideas of ’80s punk and New Wave pioneers to the aesthetics of ’90s electronica. At 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, & Saturday, Dec. 12, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $15. (202) 833-9800. (Holly Bass)