Canadian choreographer established in Montreal where she founded her dance company Mayday, Mélanie Demers‘s experiences are testimonials of her determination to perfect her art and to put her talent at the service of the mind and soul. Her theatrical works with surrealistic resonances impress by the strong impact of a raw poetry which questions the state of the world we live in and our responsibility as individuals.
Born in Montreal in 1974, Mélanie Demers studied dance, literature and theatre in Quebec City before returning to her birthplace to carry on her training as a dancer at LADMMI, the school of contemporary dance. She graduated in 1996 and started her career as a dancer for choreographers such as Danièle Desnoyers, Roger Sinha and Paula de Vasconcelos. Two years later, Mélanie is hired by Ginette Laurin and has remained with O Vertigo for nearly ten years. At the same time, she multiplied her collaborations with emerging choreographers, and has developed her budding career as a choreographer.
From the beginning, her work has charmed by its originality, intensity and its complexity. Even though her first works reflected some fantasy and playful qualities, they also explored the darker zones of the human condition. Light and refreshing in Les Oubliettes, Failles and Le Même Ciel, in Mayday, Mayday, created in 2006 for the collective Échine Dô, her theatricality is sharper and we can start sensing the strange like dimension so characteristic of her recent work. The explosive energy of the beginnings is then released in the sensuality of Transistor before being condensed in the dramatic intensity of her latest creations.
Socially engaged as an artist, Mélanie Demers travelled to teach dance in Kenya, Niger, Brazil and Haiti, her father’s birth country, where she was also involved in the development of two arts centres. The harsh reality of the developing countries and the daily struggle of their impoverished populations strengthened her beliefs that the role of art is to address political issues and to stimulate a debate of ideas. Les Angles Morts (2006), Sauver sa peau (2008) and Junkyard/Paradis (2010) have all been created from this point of view. Because she strongly believes that there always remains a reason for hope, even in the worst situation, she named her company Mayday, created in 2007.
To date, Mélanie Demers choreographed fifteen works and was presented in some thirty cities across Europe, America, Africa and Asia.
What the press says…Demers [...] s’aventure volontiers sur les chemins les moins fréquentés.
Demers brings her social conscience to the dance scene with a highly creative work that manage to juggle the strange, the political and the humorous without ever dropping the balls. A call to action that is fuelled by the power of imagination.
S. Verstricht, Indyish, Jan 08