Mayday/Mélanie Demers

Mayday, photo by Mathieu Doyon

Melanie Demers is a Canadian choreographer established in Montreal where she founded her dance company Mayday.  Her 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, Melanie Demers studied dance, literature and theater in Quebec City before returning to her birthplace to carry on her training as a dancer at the famous 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, Demers was hired by Ginette Laurin and remained with O Vertigo for nearly ten years.  At the same time, she multiplied her collaborations with emerging choreographers, and 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 corners 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 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 traveled to teach dance in Kenya, Niger, Braziland Haiti, her father’s birth country, where she was also involved in the development of two arts centers. 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,  Melanie Demers has choreographed fifteen works and was presented in some thirty cities across Europe, America, Africa and Asia.