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Junkyard/Paradis: Mélanie Demers and the political power of dance


Critically acclaimed Montreal choreographer Mélanie Demers and her company MAYDAY are currently in the midst of a four-day, four-show run at Agora de la danse. The local premiere of their new and highly evocative show brings together elements of the playful, the surreal and the outright bizarre to evoke social and political commentary.
 

Navigating contemporary juxtapositions of high and low, glamorous and destitute, Junkyard/Paradis is a figurative and literal (think costumes made of trash) take on the societal disparities of today, from the mythic duality of good and evil to the harsh realities of gender binary and wealth inequality. The incongruous realities of everyday life are manifested in and imprinted directly upon the dynamic bodies of the five-person cast through Demers’ raw signature style of emotive social expression.

Dancer-turned-company owner, choreographer and, more recently, would-be social activist, Demers has traveled regularly in recent years to developing countries like Kenya, Niger, Haiti and Brazil, teaching dance and helping establish art centres in the name of social empowerment.

Demers’ visceral, emotive and above all, politically conscious style of dance is no doubt informed by the social conscience she’s clearly developed. Envisioned with a direct consideration for global political issues and the sparking of meaningful debate, Junkyard/Paradis seeks to extract the expressive potential of dance as a tool to question the current state of the world.

 

Junkyard/Paradis
Agora de la danse | 840, Cherrier
January 26-27-28 at 8 pm, January 29 at 4 pm
Tickets $14 - $20
agoradanse.com