Chi Long, Brianna Lombardo, Jacques Poulin-Denis, Mélanie Demers, MAYDAY remix © Mathieu Doyon
Marc Boivin is a performer, improviser, teacher, and choreographer. He began his dance career at Le Groupe de la Place Royale under the directorship of Peter Boneham before joining Ginette Laurin and her company O Vertigo Danse in 1985. Since 1991 he has worked as an independent dancer, performing mainly for Louise Bédard, Sylvain Emard, Jean-Pierre Perreault, Catherine Tardif, Tedd Robinson and since 2007, in some of his own creations. He has been affiliated with the École de danse contemporaine de Montreal since 1987 and regularly guest teaches and choreographs in schools and companies across Canada. For his performance in the play WOULD, choreographed by Mélanie Demers, Marc Boivin received the Dora Mavor Moore Award during the summer of 2014.
Since 2005, Laïla Diallo has been creating dance works that toured internationally. Current work includes Edge and Shore and a new performance work, Countless Yellow Chairs. Laïla was also recently commissioned to co-create a new work for Skanes Dance Theatre (Malmö, Sweden) in 2017 with Mélanie Demers. Her practice involves regular contributions to productions in opera, theatre and television. She frequently works as an educator within the university and vocational sectors, with emerging artists and peers through the delivery of workshops, classes, talks, and mentoring. A recipient of a Rayne Fellowship for Choreographers in 2006, Laïla also was an Associate Artist at ROH2, Royal Opera House, between 2009 and 2012.
Diplômé en interprétation de l’Option Théâtre du Collège Lionel-Groulx, Francis Ducharme entame une carrière sur trois fronts : théâtre, cinéma et danse. Il a joué dans une quinzaine de productions théâtrales avec des metteurs en scène comme Alice Ronfard, Claude Poissant, Brigitte Haentjens, Serge Denoncourt, Lorraine Pintale, Brigitte Poupard et Catherine Bourgeois. Au cinéma, il fut de la distribution des films Chasse Galerie (J.P Duval), Corbo (M. Denis), Les Signes Vitaux (S. Deraspe), La Capture (C. Laure) et C.R.A.Z.Y. (J.-M. Vallée). Artiste iconoclaste, il a collaboré avec le chorégraphe Dave St-Pierre, puis avec Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, notamment pour la tournée de Babel, dirigée par Damien Jalet. On peut également le voir interpréter des pièces de Frédérick Gravel/Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroup, de MAYDAY/Mélanie Demers et de Catherine Gaudet.
James Gnam trained at the National Ballet School of Canada and from 1998 to the present, has worked with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Ballet BC, EDAM dance, Grand Poney and MAYDAY. He has had the pleasure of creating, collaborating and performing in works by Crystal Pite, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Jiri Kylian, Peter Bingham, Thomas Lehman, Lee Su-Feh, Jacques Poulin-Denis, Barak Marshall and Mélanie Demers. James is the artistic director of plastic orchid factory and a founding member of Vancouver’s only artist run dance centre left of main. With plastic orchid, he collaboratively devises interdisciplinary work that focuses the body as a site of social commentary.
An award winning dance artist, Kate Holden has had the pleasure of interpreting the works of many esteemed Canadian choreographers, including Peggy Baker, Roberto Campanella, Robert Desrosiers, David Earle, Sylvain Émard, Sasha Ivanochko, James Kudelka, Laurence Lemieux, Emily Molnar, Mélanie Demers, and Yvonne Ng. She spent five seasons as a company member of Dancemakers under the artistic direction of Michael Trent and has also been a dancer with the Danny Grossman Dance Company for two seasons. With Kate Franklin, she founded firstthingsfirst productions to commission and produce new contemporary dance works by Canadian choreographers. She has been nominated in NOW Magazine’s reader poll, as best female dancer in Toronto.
Chi Long studied dance in Australia, where she performed for several years with the Canberra Dance Theatre. She moved to Montreal in 1990 and joined O Vertigo in 1991. She participated in the creation of La Chambre blanche, Déluge, La Bête (The Beast Within), En Dedans, La Vie qui bat, and Luna. In 2002, she joined the Compagnie Marie Chouinard, performing in The Rite of Spring, 24 Preludes by Chopin, Le Cri du Monde, Chorale and Body Remix/Goldberg Variations. Chi Long returned to O Vertigo in 2008 to dance in the re-creation of La Chambre Blanche, and in Onde de choc (2010). Her performance in Goodbye in 2012 marked her debuts working with MAYDAY.
Brianna Lombardo completed her professional training at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and then worked with various international artists in Europe on a Chalmers Arts Fellowship. As an independent dancer, she worked in Toronto with Michael Trent and Matjash Mrozewski, and in Montreal with Isabelle Van Grimde and Jean-Pierre Perreault, before joining the O Vertigo company from 2004 to 2010. After six years with the company, she rejoined the dance community as a freelancer and worked closely with Mélanie Demers (MAYDAY), Jacques Poulin-Denis (Grand Poney), Frédérick Gravel (Grouped’ArtGravelArtGoup), Caroline Laurin-Beaucage, Martin Messier and Sasha Ivanochko. Alongside her dancing work since 2010, she has been teaching the O Vertigo and MAYDAY repertoires.
A graduate from College Lionel-Groulx in 2003, Alexandre Pilon-Guay first works in the circus scene with Cirque Eloize. He then became technical director for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens of Montreal, before devoting himself fully to lighting design. He collaborated with choreographers Mélanie Demers, Virginia Brunelle, Frédérick Gravel, Lynda Gaudreau and Antonija Livingstone. In theater, Alexandre has worked with Catherine Vidal, Emmanuel Schwartz, Alice Ronfard, Jérémie Niel, Justin Laramée, Momentum and Transthéâtre. Artist in constant evolution, Alexandre Pilon-Guay is inspired by the relationship between the body, the light and the surrounding space. His photographic work underlines this vision as well.
Jacques Poulin-Denis is a composer, choreographer, director and performer undertaking projects that blur the boundaries between dance, music and theater. His work has been presented in over twenty cities across Canada, as well as in the United States, Europe and Asia. He is an artist in residence of l’Agora de la danse in Montreal, and was awarded a two month residency in Berlin during the Tanz Im August Festival, as well as several choreographic research periods in Montreal, Victoria, Vancouver, Bassano and Seoul. He is a close collaborator of choreographer Mélanie Demers as a composer and performer since 2006. Jacques Poulin-Denis is the winner of an Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, San Francisco (2004) and a Saskatoon Area Theater Award (2009).
A graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and the Wexford School for the Arts, Riley Sims has danced in works by Tedd Robinson, Mélanie Demers, Frédérick Gravel, Ann Liv Young, Kettly Noël, Noam Gagnon, Michael Trent, and Allison Cummings. He is the Artistic Director of Social Growl Dance, established in 2012, which has received creation residencies at Studio 142 in Germany, with Centre Q in Quebec, and lemonTree creations in Toronto. In 2016, Social Growl Dance was the recipient of the Dance Matters commission and residency co-production. This produced Drunk On Fiction (2017), the company’s second full-length creation. Currently Sims is working as a dancer with Mélanie Demers and Tedd Robinson. He was recently the recipient of the Dance Ontario Creative Partnerships Commission.
Angélique Willkie is an artist active in the dance, music, theatre, and circus communities. Trained at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, she collaborated in many dance projects with the Ballets C de la B, company Karin Vyncke as well as Needcompany. As a singer, she collaborated with Zap Mama, dEUS, DAAU and Zita Swoon Group, amongst others. Along with her career as a performing artist, Angélique Willkie has been a teacher at the École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque in Brussels and at the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal. She has been teaching at Concordia University’s contemporary dance department for several years now.