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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.


A 2019-20 Artist In Residence, Demers will also present her examination of the human condition in Animal Triste.

In Animal Triste, Demers presents the notion that in an attempt to escape the human condition, we build families and civilizations, conquer and often dominate or oppress others. She explores the theme that man is a creature of no significance who only aspires to more and better, and strives to understand the nature and posture of mankind in all its humanity.

Partly inspired by Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, a non-fiction book that surveys the history of humankind and ponders what might come next for us, Demers’ production is divided into four chapters and features four dance performers.

Review: Animal Triste dances through the evolution of those sad animals known as humans → Review: Animal Triste explores the darker side → MAYDAY/Mélanie Demers →

Choreography: Mélanie Demers, in collaboration with the performers

Dancers (Original Cast): Marc Boivin, James Gnam, Brianna Lombardo, and Riley Sims

On Stage: Marc Boivin, James Gnam, Brianna Lombardo and Léa Noblet Di Ziranaldi

Original Music: Jacques Poulin-Denis, Antoine Berthiaume

Rehearsal Direction: Anne-Marie Jourdenais

Lighting Design: Alexandre Pilon-Guay


Animal Triste is a co-production with Canada Dance Festival. 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.

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