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Honorary Member – Maude Sabourin

"Having faced many challenges in my career as a dancer, it is a pleasure and honour to acknowledge those that have been at my side so often. Multiple injuries, including some very serious ones, have enabled me to learn throughout each recovery process, enhancing my self-awareness and of the challenges facing all dancers. I have learnt being a professional dancer not only requires one to be an outstanding artist, but a perfectly trained athlete. Combining strength and conditioning training to my usual ballet training has allowed me to become injury-free and to push my body to levels that I never thought achievable when I was just taking class and rehearsing every day. Beyond a sense of power, this newly gained knowledge has allowed me to explore my artistic self to a far greater level. Discovering how free an artist can be once you’ve mastered your tool—the dancer’s body—is profoundly empowering.

"A big thanks to the members of IADMS. All their research, skills, and dedication helps dance evolve into a greater art form with greater dancers. Thank you!"

Maude Sabourin
Soloist, Les Grands Ballets


A native of Montreal, Maude trained at the Ecole supérieure de ballet du Québec before joining the Jeune Ballet du Québec, followed by the Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Rising through the ranks to principal dancer, she performed leading roles in works by choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Maria Chouinard, Marco Goecke, Johan Inger, Pontus Lideberg amongst others. Though, perhaps most influential during this period were the encouragement and works of director Jean-Christophe Maillot, particularly being entrusted with changing the gender of the role, Carabosse in La Belle and ultimately his creation of the piece “Presque Rien” on her with Christian Tworzyanski in 2015.


Her unwavering commitment to her Art, however, was not without inevitable challenges. She suffered several serious injuries, including one to her spine, which almost ended her career. Instead of being defeated, these challenges provided Maude opportunities to question her practice, trying not only to resolve the problem but champion the causes. Due to her spirit, courage and tenacity she has always looked for better ways to do things, allowing her weaknesses to become her strengths, and as such has become a role model for many dancers.


In 2017, she again conquered the odds and married Turkish dancer Melih Mertel, during a period of unrest in Turkey. Despite visas and passports difficulties, they were able to fulfil their dreams, finding a way to live and dance together, back in her native Canada with the Grand Ballets Canadian in Montreal, under the direction of Ivan Cavallari. Recently featured on Canadian Television as the new athletic dancer, Maude exemplifies the need for dancers to be artistic athletes of the highest level. An advocate of many principles exuded by IADMS, we are honored to invite Maude to join us.

Photo credit, both: Sasha Onyshchenko - Les Grands Ballets

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