Mammalian Diving Reflex
Haircuts by Children
We presented the Canadian performance group Mammalian Diving Reflex for the first time in 2014 at out first Live Art for Børn festival in Copenhagen. They brought one of their signature pieces, Haircuts by Children. The piece does exactly what the title promises: a group of children is given a crash course in hairdressing and run a salon where they offer free haircuts to members of the public. In the lovingly designed shop, adults (and other children) tested their courage as they received sometimes unexpected, but always fantastic haircuts.
Eat the Street
For this, our second project with Mammalian Diving Reflex, a 6th grade class from Rosengård school in Odense was trained as restaurant critics by professional chefs. They visited seven restaurants in Odense, and after didning there offered their brutally honest opinions. The restaurants were awarded prizes in various self-invented categories such as “surprisingly nice bathrooms”. The kids organised a smashing award ceremony, and of course they arrived in style: in limos.
About the Artists
Mammalian Diving Reflex was founded in Toronto in 1993, and between 1993-2003 primarily produced the stage-based performances of Artistic Director, Darren O’Donnell. In 2003, the company began to diversify its approach and generate work in a multitude of forms, focusing on creating “social acupuncture”: playful, provocative, site and social-specific participatory performances with non-actors of all ages and demographics, designed to bring people together in new and unusual ways. In 2006, Darren published his book, Social Acupuncture, which established a theoretical foundation for this new body of work and solidified it as the company’s primary creative methodology.
Read more on the group’s website.