La Goddam Voie Lactée

2022-03-03 20:00 2022-03-05 21:30 60 Canada/Eastern 🎟 NAC: MAYDAY

In-person event

Five women, united by the chaos and order of our galaxy, come together to celebrate all that is feminine in today’s callous and harsh world, through an unusually fierce pagan mass. Camped out at their own observation post, they jump into the arena and grab hold of gestures, words, and music, draping them around themselves like a costume. They sketch and erase, create and destroy, in perpetuity. Reminiscent of an aesthetic Big Bang, La Goddam Voie Lactée is a series of small dance...

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Azrieli Studio,1 Elgin Street,Ottawa,Canada
March 3 - 5, 2022

≈ 75 minutes · No intermission

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Last updated: March 1, 2022

The choreographic world of Mélanie Demers is both poetic and fierce, often a blistering exploration of human strengths and foibles. A courageous artist, she has taken on big themes and challenges in each of her works through a multidisciplinary lens. In this latest creation, powered by five exceptional female performers, Demers lays out with boldness and fragility the stories that women weave alone and together, lifting us through a spiritual pursuit for inner beauty. United by movement, voice and song, they navigate the course of their lives through darkness and light, leaving us invigorated and hopeful.


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We would like to recognize the Algonquin Nation, on whose traditional unceded territory the National Arts Centre is located. We gratefully acknowledge them as the past, present and future stewards of this land.

About the company

For the choreographer and artistic director of MAYDAY, Mélanie Demers, the stage is a platform for performers to reflect as a group, a space for calling into question the role of the artist and the genre of theatre, and where our collective and individual fates are pondered. She does not subject audiences to accusatory harangues, nor does she wallow in a mood of sterile resignation: she simply draws our attention to the dark side of the human condition. Her works are at once a cry for help and a call for change. Hence the name MAYDAY: in the eyes of Mélanie Demers this word is imbued with equal parts hope and despair.

Since its foundation in 2007, an array of charismatic and eclectic artists working with Mélanie Demers has been drawn to MAYDAY as a hub for creative exchange and reflection. Some hail from Montréal, the company’s home base, others from around the world. Each MAYDAY work is thus the fruit of a collective effort. And not only between the artists: the public enters into the creative process as well, since the physicality, imagery, and sense of rhythm characteristic of MAYDAY’s unique approach only come together as a coherent whole before an audience.

Drawing on creative energies from around the world, MAYDAY’s unique works testify to both a spirit of artistic freedom and a deep-seated concern for contemporary issues.

The company’s first piece, the duo Les Angles Morts, examines the way we perceive the world by focussing on those aspects of it that escape our awareness: things we prefer not to see, not to feel, or which we simply ignore, either driven by an instinct for survival or simply because it’s convenient for us to do so.

Sauver sa peau / Sense of Self, created in collaboration with the choreographer Laïla Diallo, confronts stereotypes with a clarion call for freedom in an attempt to reconcile the idea of uniqueness with the notion of multiple identities.

Junkyard/Paradise, a work for five dancers, explores the dual nature of the world and our capacity to enjoy life even as we are aware of its ability to alternately both redeem and horrify us.

Mélanie Demers was at work again while Junkyard/Paradis was on tour and created Goodbye, a quartet which premiered at the Festival TransAmériques in May 2012. This labyrinthine work, at turns aesthetically pleasing and artistically grating, deconstructs performance practice and offers us a tasty little guide to saying farewell.

Demers’ fascination and the relationship between words and gestures crystallizes in WOULD, a work which won the Prix du CALQ for Best Choreography at the Prix de la danse de Montréal in 2015. WOULD was followed by the choreographic relay Danse Mutante in 2019, then in 2021 by La Goddam Voie Lactée, MAMA and Confession Publique, and finally in 2022 by Cabaret Noir.

In 2021, Mélanie Demers won the Grand Prix de la danse de Montréal, which recognizes her unique contributions.

MAYDAY tours frequently and has collaborated with many international partners. It is proud to be one of the few Canadian companies to have performed in both North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

About the work

Strongly influenced by the movement to denounce sexual harassment and by the exacerbation of racial tensions, Mélanie Demers highlights the multiplicity of the feminine. In reaction to the roughness of today’s world, its callousness, its harshness, La Goddam Voie Lactée proposes a pagan mass, a celebration of the feminine in the form of a challenge.

From unusual or still unfinished assemblages, each performer is camped out at her own observation post. Sometimes they jump into the arena and grab hold of gestures, words and music, draping them around themselves like a costume. They sketch out their universe, drawing it and erasing it. An aesthetic little Big Bang, La Goddam Voie Lactée is a way of projecting ourselves into this imperfect and infinite world which is our common belonging and inheritance.

Festival TransAmériques (Montréal, Canada)
Agora de la danse (Montréal, Canada)
Centre chorégraphique national de Tours (Tours, France)
Centro per la Scena Contemporánea (Bassano del Grappa, Italie)
The Dance Centre Vancouver (Vancouver, Canada)

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.


  • melanie-demers-credit-julie-artacho-web
    Choreographer Mélanie Demers
  • Performer Stacey Désilier
  • frannie-holder-la-goddam-voie-lacteye-mathieu-doyon
    Performer Frannie Holder
  • 01.brianna-lombardo-la-goddam-voie-lacteye-mathieu-doyon
    Performer Brianna Lombardo
  • chi-long-la-goddam-voie-lacteye-mathieu-doyon-1
    Performer Chi Long
  • Performer Léa Noblet Di Ziranaldi

NAC Dance team

Cathy Levy, Executive Producer  
Tina Legari, Associate Producer  
Mireille Nicholas, Special Projects Coordinator and Assistant to the Executive Producer 
Sophie Anka, Company Manager 
Siôned Watkins, Education Associate and Teaching Artist 
Brian Britton, Technical Director 
Camylle Gauthier-Trépanier, Communications Strategist  
Chatelaine Rindorindo, Marketing Strategist

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees