IDENTITY TRANSFORMED

MÉLANIE DEMERS / MAYDAY

© Sabrina Reeves

The multi-platform artist Mélanie Demers beguiles with rich and complex original work imbued with explosive energy and dramatic intensity. She is the recipient of the 2015 Prix du Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec award for best choreography for her piece WOULD. She also received the Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation for Icône Pop when it was presented at the Summer Works Performance Festival in Toronto in 2017.

With Danse Mutante she has embarked on a choreographic metamorphosis that revisits the idea of co-creation and collaboration. Like an evolving suite, three choreographers on three continents add to and pass on the fruits of their labour. The original piece by Mélanie Demers, created in Montreal and presented at the opening of OFFTA, is the point of departure for a suite of mutations that keeps evolving from the most recent opus. The dancers are the memory and knowledge keepers. As usual, the choreographer works closely with her collaborators. In this piece, Francis Ducharme and Riley Sims are entrusted with the mission of embodying a dance destined for eternal transformation.

“IT IS THE DANCERS, THE GUARDIANS OF THE PROJECT, WHO ARE THE FOCAL POINT OF DANSE MUTANTE. IT IS THEY WHO TRAVEL, WHO MEET WITH THE CHOREOGRAPHERS. THEY PERSONIFY MUTATION.”

While Danse Mutante takes an original look at the work of artistic creation and the gestation of ideas, the premise is inevitably imbued with the idea of transformation, a concept intrinsic to creation. The dancers will travel to meet with other choreographers, and the piece will be transformed by the visions of Ann Liv Young (New York), Kettly Noël (Bamako) and Ann Van den Broek (Antwerp/Rotterdam). These three artists will distil from the previous version yet another variant, such that with each stop Danse Mutante becomes corrupted, remixed, reworked or perhaps even inverted. Each version of Danse Mutante will be presented, individually or together, and the work as a whole will be unveiled in Montreal in the form of a marathon event in autumn 2019. Like a sporting achievement, the dancers will perform the four versions in a dance that undergoes constant mutation.

This spring Mélanie Demers had also remount Icône Pop, a solo accompanied by live music and presented in an underground parking lot in Montreal. In a piece that is more performance art than dance, she sketches a portrait of splintered female identity, the multiple postures of woman. From Beyoncé to the Virgin Mary.

DANSE-MUTANTE -  opening of the OFFTA 2018 (Montréal) festival In partnership with Agora de la danse

ICÔNE POP  Coproduction: Operaestate Festival – Comune di Bassano del Grappa.

Danse Mutante is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.