Nathalie Derome

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Nathalie Derome is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) mostly working in the fields of theater and performance art, but she has maintained loose ties with music throughout her…
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Artist Biography by

Nathalie Derome is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) mostly working in the fields of theater and performance art, but she has maintained loose ties with music throughout her career. The sister of famous Montrealer avant-garde saxophonist Jean Derome, she revolves in the outer rings of the Ambiances Magnétiques planetary system, following an eccentric orbit that is her own. Her work mostly takes the shape of stage shows dealing with the relationship between artist and public and reality/virtuality.

Derome studied drama at the Université du Québec à Montréal where she completed her bachelor degree's in 1984. After a few years of participating in college shows, street performances, and the like (including appearances alongside her brother), she and a few close friends created the multi-disciplinary group La Peau des Dents, from the title of her first major creation. Blending literature, music, theater, dance, and visual arts, the show also established the "custom-fit" approach of the artist, which consists of constantly adapting a performance to available means (space and material).

Other performances followed, such as Une Pelle et un Râteau (1988), Retour du Refoulé (1990), and Le Voyage de Pénélope (1992), all mostly presented in the Province of Quebec, certain French-speaking regions of Canada (New-Brunswick, Manitoba), and Europe. In 1995, she formed the production company Les Productions Nathalie Derome and began to produce shows by and for other artists, such as poet François Martel (she also staged the 50th anniversary tribute to the seminal book Refus Global in 1998). Des Mots, d'la Dynamite, Théâtre en Forme de Femme (Words, Dynamite, Theater in the Shape of a Woman, 1996) saw her integrating songs into her intimate performance. It was her first show to go beyond critical acclaim and reach a certain level of popular success.

In 1999-2000, she presented Les 4 Ronds Sont Allumés, a song cycle/storyteller performance backed by Ambiances Magnétiques musicians René Lussier (guitar), and Guillaume Dostaler (keyboards), resulting in her first-ever CD being released at the end of 2000. The show Du Temps d'Antennes, presented throughout 2001 in a small space and in front of very small audiences, received raving reviews.