Mammalian Diving Reflex

Works with Live Art Danmark
2014 “Haircuts by Children” at Live Art for Children 1
2018 “Eat the Street” at Live Art for Children 5

Photo: Ellen Friis

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.

Photos Lisa Kannakko

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.

Om liveart_dk was founded in 2004 in Copenhagen to promote the discussion, documentation and development of live art in Denmark. The organisation is equally inspired by the imaginative and entertaining English Live Art tradition as by the theoretical and political German theatre tradition. We have organised 10 large international festivals of Live Art for kids and adults since 2004, and over 40 discussion events, books, video series, symposia and more in the field of live art, performance art, art criticism and documentation. We collaborate with theatres, music venues, art museums and festivals in Denmark and internationally.