Canadian choreographer established in Montreal where she founded her dance company, Mélanie Demers shows a determination to put dance 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. 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.
Mélanie Demers studied dance, literature and theatre in Quebec City before returning to her birthplace to carry on her training as a dancer at the famous LADMMI, now the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal. 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 creator.
From the beginning, her work has charmed by its originality, intensity and its complexity. Her first works reflected some fantasy and playful qualities, even though she already explored the darker zones of the human condition. Sometimes light and refreshing, sometimes sharper and sour, her pieces already prefigure the strange like dimension so characteristic of her recent work: The explosive energy, the exacerbated sensuality and the dramatic intensity all mixed in mashed up in a clattering clash.
Socially engaged as an artist, Mélanie Demers travelled to teach dance in Kenya, Niger, Brazil and especially Haiti, where she is involved in the development arts and culture. 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), Junkyard/Paradise (2010) and Goodbye (2012) have all been created from this point of view. With MAYDAY remix (2014), she still pushes further the marriage of genres and the hybridisation of forms. Her fascination with the cohabitation of the word and gesture crystallizes with WOULD (2015). In 2015, Mélanie Demers was awarded the prestigious Prix du CALQ pour la meilleure œuvre chorégraphique for WOULD.
To date, Mélanie Demers choreographed fifteen works and was presented in some thirty cities across Europe, America, Africa and Asia.
What the press says…
[…] Mélanie Demers, fidèle à la vie comme sur scène à l’humour noir et à la saveur douce-amère, un tantinet provocatrice, qui caractérisent si bien ses oeuvres.
M. Carpentier, Le Devoir, September 16
Demers [...] s’aventure volontiers sur les chemins les moins fréquentés.
S. Brody, La Presse, April 07
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, January 08