Stage Door News

Toronto: Canadian Stage and dance Immersion present “Cabaret Noir” February 9-11

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

In February, the CS Platforms series – designed to introduce audiences to some of the world’s most vanguard artists - continues with Montréal artist Mélanie Demers’ CABARET NOIR, co-presented with dance Immersion at the Berkeley Street Theatre February 9-11.

A MAYDAY Production co-presented by dance Immersion and Canadian Stage, CABARET NOIR is created, directed, and choreographed by Demers with the collaboration of the interpreters. The cast of CABARET NOIR uses movement, dialogue, and music to reconstruct emblematic scenes from popular culture in a work that is both a celebration and resistance of concepts of “Blackness”. The artists play with clichés, folklore, and prejudices, summoning the words of Frantz Fanon, Nina Simone, Dany Laferrière, and Spike Lee to illustrate that no external authority can define our identities. The show contains text in French, English, Creole, and a hint of Spanish without surtitles.

“Mélanie Demers is a rising star in the Montréal dance scene who has created a really important and urgent work,” says Canadian Stage Artistic Director Brendan Healy. “Deriving inspiration form the Parisian cabaret scene of the 20s and 30s, and pulling from literary and pop culture references, CABARET NOIR interrogates ways in which Blackness is embodied and is as much a celebration as it is a critique of the limitations of the concept. We are thrilled to collaborate on this presentation with our deeply valued partners at dance Immersion.”

"We are excited to co-present CABARET NOIR with Canadian Stage, bringing this profound multilingual piece to Toronto," says Timea Wharton-Suri, dance Immersion's Curator & Program Director. "This provocative work lays bare Mélanie's powerful vision on a critical discussion."

A multidisciplinary artist, Mélanie Demers founded in Montreal her own dance company, MAYDAY, in 2007, exploring the powerful link between the poetical and the political. Early works including Les Angles Morts (2006), Sense of Self (2008), Junkyard/ Paradise (2010) and Goodbye (2012) all reflected this focus. With MAYDAY remix (2014), she deepened her engagement with cross-genre works and hybrid forms and her fascination with the interplay between word and gesture crystallized with WOULD (2015), which won the CALQ Prize for best choreography. In 2021 Demers distinguished herself with her show La Goddam Voie Lactée, presented at the Festival TransAmériques and she was awarded the Grand Prix de la danse de Montréal that year. To date, Demers has choreographed over thirty works, presented across Europe, America, Africa, and Asia.

Tickets for CABARET NOIR range from $29-$79. Single tickets are now available at This production runs February 9th-11th 2022, with performances at 8:00pm Thursday – Saturday. For more information and tickets visit

Photo: Vlad Alexis. © 2022 Cloé Pluquet.