MELANIE DEMERS WORKSHOP (MAYDAY, MONTREAL)
Honesty, one of the noblest characteristics of a human being, is at the core of Melanie Demers artistic expression.
I was reassured as a person and inspired as an artist while participating in the workshop held by Montreal’s Melanie Demers (Mayday). Twenty-some University of Calgary students and a handful of Canadian artists heated up the otherwise chilly U of C kinesiology studio with a fury of spontaneous dance inspired by Melanie and driven by each dancer. This ‘performance’ was the warm-‐up.
For a moment I regret the lack of photo documentation on my part. However, I am reminded of the essence of the performer and dance as Melanie describes it. The performance is not something you ‘...turn on...’ (Melanie) it’s always there.
Explorations of ‘second impulses’ lead to the experience of surprise and risk and the necessity for honest reactions to each movement. Melanie’s task oriented creative method made the goal for movement clear while requiring candid movement interpretation from each dancer.
The rigor of Melanie’s approach to honest movement creation was evident in her enthusiasm towards risk. Undoubtedly risk is one of the most exciting elements of dance and in my experience is not easily put into direct practice during movement creation. Melanie encouraged risk through the abandonment of beauty allowing the fierceness required to attempt unusual tasks. True originality ensued.
Don’t miss Junkyard/ Paradise by Melanie Demers (Mayday, Montreal) October 16-‐19.
Alison Kause is an Edmonton based contemporary dance artist and a collective member of the Good Women Dance Society.