plastic orchid factory & MAYDAY / Mélanie Demers present


at Scotiabank Dance Centre, October 19, 20 & 21 at 8pm

box office and bar opens at 7pm

On Friday October 20, a post performance discussion will be facilitated by Su Feh Lee


We can only applaud the consistency of the choreographic language of Mélanie Demers.
— L. Renaud, Revue Jeu, apr. 15

Created in 2016, the work premiered in Montreal, at Agora de la danse, for the opening of the new Espace Wilder. A freeze frame in attempt to understand the nature and posture of Man in all his humanity, Animal Triste is carried by a stellar, national cast of inexhaustible performers: Marc Boivin, James Gnam, Brianna Lombardo and Riley Sims. 

Mankind likes to think it is the centre of the world. And yet it knows the world has seen glacial destruction, the extinction of the dinosaurs and fallen empires. On a lucid day, it sees itself as it really is: mediocre and perishable. The next day it sees itself as free, glorious and triumphant.

In the world’s grand parade, humans are nothing more than sad animals. They find solace in beauty, in a desire for immortality. They invent religions, philosophies, civilizations. They conquer, dominate, oppress. They observe, study each another. They write, recount, report. And above all, they reproduce. They know they will die, but think they are immortal. Prisoners of a hidden biology that guides their every step. 

In Animal Triste, four dancers grapple with this inner turmoil that penetrates their conscience. With setbacks and vagaries of living together. Neither quite man nor woman, slaves to their desires and anxious to escape them, prisoners of the tribal instinct, they are terrestrial beings, wild animals, angels and demons. Side by side, these domesticated primates rush towards something: their ruin, most likely.

In this relentless march, Animal Triste depicts this headlong dash, this need to forge on, to follow this path.



Marc Boivin In Animal Triste, he is both Mother Courage and Perseus on his pedestal. He is a dark, menacing presence. He dominates. He oppresses. Like all the others, he tries to free himself from his destiny. 

James Gnam In Animal Triste, he is both Cain and Abel. He is also Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. He is a long lost son, yet a fallen rock star, and his charisma crushes and drinks everything. 

Brianna Lombardo In Animal Triste, she is a woman, female, Femen, feminine, feminist. She is the flower and the stinger at the same time. Powerful. Enchanting. Self-sufficient. Her presence draws us to her and, sometimes, chokes us too. 

Riley Sims In Animal Triste, he is the force of nature. He appears like an oracle. However it is him that we choose to abandon. Sacred son. Through him, the prophecy is fulfilled. 



After 10 years touring as a dancer with O Vertigo, Mélanie Demers founded in Montreal her own dance company, MAYDAY, in 2007. Her work has charmed by its originality, intensity and its complexity, exploring the darker zones of the human condition. Addressing political issues in a poetic form, she created Les Angles Morts (2006), Sense of Self (2008), Junkyard/Paradis (2010), Goodbye (2012) and MAYDAY remix (2014). And lately, WOULD (2015) won the CALQ Prize for best choreography, highlighting the artistic excellence of a work presented in Québec. In 2016, Mélanie Demers began a new creation cycle with Animal Triste and Icône Pop; both works are touring internationally. Last August, Icône Pop was awarded the Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation by Toronto’s SummerWorks Performance Festival. Recently, Mélanie Demers was invited to work as a guest choreographer at Skånes Dansteater in Malmö (Sweden) for the creation of Something About Wilderness. To date, she choreographed twenty works and was presented in some thirty cities across Europe, America, Africa and Asia.



Direction and choreography: Mélanie Demerson stage: Marc Boivin, James Gnam, Brianna Lombardo and Riley Sims
lights: Alexandre Pilon-Guay music: Jacques Poulin-Denis and Antoine Berthiaume technical direction: Olivier Chopinet   rehearsal direction: Anne-Marie Jourdenaisdramaturgy: Angélique Willkiecreation: 2016, co-producer, Canada Dance Festival  


Animal Triste is a co-production with plastic orchid factory. The project is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.


performance program