MAYDAY: distress call mainly dispatched by boats and planes; term used since the beginning of the 20th century, probably borrowed from the French expression “Venez m’aider ”(Come Help me!).
Choreographer and artistic director of MAYDAY, Mélanie Demers uses the stage as a platform to examine the role of the artist and uses theatre as a space to meditate on the fate of the world and individuals. She does not condemn nor yield to a sterile defeatism, but simply highlights the darker corners of the human condition. Her works, unquestionably committed, are at the same time distress signals and an invitation to change. This is why she called her company MAYDAY, a name in which she perceives at once hope and despair.
Since its creation in 2007, MAYDAY has chosen to be a place of exchange and reflection, some sort of an artistic think tank, for the artists working with Mélanie Demers. They come from various spheres, some from Montreal, home base of the company, others from around the world. Their personalities are both dazzling and eclectic. Here, the maturation of the work is a collective process. The physicality, the rhythm and the images used in the choreographies are characteristic elements of MAYDAY, which find all their meaning when encountering with the public.
Inspired by the winds of creativity, which blow in various places of the planet, MAYDAY creates singular works, testimonies of the free spirited qualities of its craftsmen and their concerns for contemporary issues. The first piece of its repertory is a duet called Les Angles Morts. It examines the way we see the world by dealing with the aspects that elude our consciousness; things one prefers not to see, not to feel or simply ignore either by reflex or by convenience. Sauver sa peau / Sense of Self, created in collaboration with the choreographer Laïla Diallo, takes on stereotypes and sends a call for freedom while trying to reconcile the notions of uniqueness and multiple identities. Junkyard/Paradise, a work for five dancers, explores the duality of the world and our capacity to enjoy life with its complexity that carries horror and grace at the same time.
MAYDAY travels a lot, multiplying its international collaborations and can be praised, in spite of its youth, to be one of the rare Canadian companies to have already been invited to present across North America, Europe, Asia, as well as Africa.