All the Sex I've Ever Had by Mammalian Diving Reflex/Darren O'Donnell
As recent performances tend to be more interdisciplinary, this year the NTCH has launched a new programming platform called IDEAS Lab to integrate the former Innovations Series (drama, dance and music). The IDEAS Lab has officially become one of the four major art festivals of the NTCH. The IDEAS Lab emphasizes the experimental spirit. Artists are encouraged to be rebellious as if in eternal adolescence. It invites artists to ask questions, fight against mainstream and create innovative visions together. Starting from their own experiences and observations about life, the seven artists or groups in this year’s festival are proposing seven different directions of exploration in theater with their productions that are “purely hand-made, purely innovative, and purely experimental”. Their works also reflect the issues and trends of our time.
All the Sex I’ve Ever Had had produced in 18 cities prior to Taipei. In the Taiwanese edition, six senior amateur performers from various backgrounds, religions, and sex orientations worked with the Canadian theater company Mammalian Diving Reflex intensively for one month. They were being very generous for sharing their climax and rock bottoms in their lives which will definitely open our perception of the stereotypes for different generations. We hope after this show, when you see the elders next to you, you will see the hard rock bohemian spirits hiding under their wrinkled skins.
All the Sex I’ve Ever Had is what it is: a show about all the sex ever had by a small crew of your neighbors over the age of 60. But all the talk about sex is just an excuse to share something extraordinary: the older people get, the more courageous we are to accept and share our vulnerabilities. It is a courage born of enduring hardship and tragedy and understanding that vulnerability is universal and constant. Life is a bitch and then we don’t die - we keep on living and living and living as our sight, hair, muscles, joints and neurons hit the road and the people we love evaporate. This shit is not for the faint of heart. But our world doesn’t place much value on this vulnerability - displays of vulnerability tend to make people feel uncomfortable. Through learning to accept our own vulnerability, we build the courage to accept the vulnerability of others, even when their vulnerability appears to be an affront. A calm generosity is produced.
We hope that All the Sex I’ve Ever Had can re-establish the idea of the community of elders who share their experiences and, most importantly, their vulnerabilities, helping the rest of us step up and be brave and acknowledge that life is going to kill us, both in the short and the long term. The pain of life is constantly coming and going, as is every single person we’ll ever love, leaving us a wreck for a moment, a week, a few years. But not so destroyed that get onstage and fire off a few confetti cannons.
Legal scholar Martha Albertson Fineman points out that vulnerability defines the very meaning of what it means to be human. It’s how we begin, it’s how we end, and it lies in wait for us every time we cross the street or attempt to make a connection with another person. If there is anything that absolutely unifies all of us, it is our vulnerability.
About Mammalian Diving Reflex
Mammalian Diving Reflex views innovative artistic interventions as a way to trigger generosity and equity across the universe. Founded by Artistic Director, Darren O’Donnell in 1993, Mammalian is a research-art atelier dedicated to investigating the social sphere, always on the lookout for contradictions to whip into aesthetically scintillating experiences. We are a culture production workshop that creates site and social-specific performances, theatre-based productions, gallery participatory gallery installations, videos, art objects and theoretical texts. Mammalian’s body of work is interconnected, varied and vibrant, reflecting our unique and growing body of knowledge and expertise on the use and function of culture. We create work that recognizes the social responsibility of art, fostering a dialogue between audience members, between the audience and the material, and between the performers and the audience. In all it’s forms, the company’s work dismantles barriers between individuals of all ages, cultural, economic and social backgrounds; we collaborate with non-artists, and offer both participatory opportunities for the audience as well as the traditional option of simply watching the proceedings as they unfold. It is our mission to bring people together in new and unusual ways, in Toronto, Canada, our home-base, and around the world, to create work that is engaging, challenging, and gets people talking, thinking and feeling.
About the Creators
Darren O’Donnell is an urban cultural planner, novelist, essayist, playwright, filmmaker, performance director and the Artistic and Founding Director of Mammalian Diving Reflex. His books include: Your Secrets Sleep with Me(2004), Social Acupuncture (2006), which argues for aesthetics of civic engagement, and Haircuts by Children and Other Evidence for a New Social Contract (2018), which proposes the cultural sector as a site to pilot a new social contract with children. His performance works include Haircuts by Children, All the Sex I’ve Ever Had, The Children’s Choice Awards and Teentalitarianism. Past and current urban planning collaborators include the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, the Humboldt Forum, the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, the West Kowloon Cultural District, the London International Festival of Theatre, the Metropolitan Region of Rhine-Neckar, the Schauspielhaus Bochum and the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art.
Alice Fleming is an emerging producer and artist based in Melbourne and Berlin. With Mammalian Diving Reflex, she has worked as a director, designer and producer, at theatres and festivals in the UK, Denmark, Australia, Germany, Canada, and Scotland. With renowned theatre company Back to Back Theatre has worked both as a stage manager and a producer supporting the creation of their work locally as well as supporting its delivery to over 40 cities worldwide. In 2018she was awarded an Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, and for parts of 2019 Alice is an artist in residence at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria as part of a creative team researching a new project.
Tina Fance is a producer based in Toronto, Canada. With Mammalian Diving Reflex, she has produced performances around the world- working on-site as a project coordinator with local communities. In addition to being the Artistic Producer with Mammalian, she works as a Creative Producer with Canadian performance artist Jess Dobkin.
Virginia Antonipillai’s first collaboration with Mammalian was in 2010 as a Project Coordinator for Nightwalks with Teenagers in Nova Scotia, and has continued to tour with the performance in Canada and Europe. Virginia Antonipillai has participated in numerous projects and performances including but not limited: Promises to a Divided City (2014) and Teens Talk Theatre(2015). She starred in the film series High School Health (2014) and short film Teen Thoughts(2015). She travelled to Germany in 2016 as part of the Teentaliarianism team at the Ruhrtriennale.
James Mapes is a lighting and video designer, board game creator, sci-fi writer, and all-around creative person born and based in Portland, Oregon. Inside the theatre, he works primarily in dance. He is a regular collaborator with BodyVox Dance, Oregon Children’s Theater, Éowyn Emerald & Dancers, the Portland Ballet, and the Risk/Reward Festival. Beyond the stage, he kickstarted his first board game in 2016 and has a pair of follow-ups planned for the near future.
Special thanks to：
This presentation of All the Sex I've Ever Had is made possible in part thanks to grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council touring programs, and Canadian Trade Office in Taipei/Bureau commercial du Canada à Taipei.
Organizer: National Theater and Concert Hall
◎Approx. 90 minutes without intermission.
◎Age guide 15+.
◎The performance involves adult matters,
and contains smoke and strobe lighting.
Audience discretion is advised.
◎The alcoholic drink offered is for 18+ only.
Soft drink will be provided for those under 18.
◎Please don't drive after drinking.
◎The program is subject to change
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