Living in Paradise
2015 • 2:22 minutes
Currently on display
Living in Paradise is a short video that was first presented as part of the exhibition in Act One of the live production What Happened to the Seeker.
What Happened to the Seeker is the story of a female settler artist born in the middle of the revolutionary 1960s. Her world is propelled by its revolutionary vision and promise of liberation. But her story proves troubling. As she travels the infamous hippie trail in India in reverse, she finds her freedom through questionable transactions. The cost of her search has been on the backs of others, yet this inequity doesn’t seem to impact the outcome of the Seeker’s search. What Happened to the Seeker is an exploration into searching, what it costs and what it means to stop.
As the public enters the theatre, they are divided into three groups and are brought to one of three locations: a mini cinema where they are offered popcorn and watch a movie made with puppets; an exhibit of objects and texts with a fully functioning bar; or an audio experience with headphones. The groups travel from section to section, and after a brief intermission, return to the main hall for the second half, a travelogue to India on video and a final performance.
Fiction and non-fiction blend, as do performance, visual arts, video, textiles, performance… all together they weave a story with narrative threads that go back in time and emerge fully in the present. A full-on experience for a public that wants to wander.
A STO Union production, in co-production with Festival TransAmériques (Montreal), The Theatre Centre (Toronto), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen, Norway), Brut Koproductionshaus (Vienna, Austria) and in association with the Wakefield Art Collective.
Living in Paradise
- Music and lyrics: Nadia Ross and Michelle April
- Performed by: Michelle April
- Drawings: George Acheson, Michelle April, Nadia Ross
- Video: Claude Hudon
SELECTED PRESS REVIEWS
“If what Nadia Ross does isn’t theatre, then give me less theatre — and more of this stuff, whatever you want to call it… (Ross) is kind
of a Canadian, female, progressive, theatre person version of screenwriter legend Charlie Kaufman or even early days Woody Allen”
Stephen Hunt (Calgary Herald) – one of the top ten shows of the year in Calgary.
“What Happened to the Seeker takes experimental performance to a new level”
Justin Borrow (The Theatre Reader) Toronto
“I love how this piece got me to question, wonder, ponder, observe, be open to suggestion and appreciate.”
Lynn Slotkin (The Slotkin Letter) Toronto
“What Happened to the Seeker … is the biggest and most successful risk in this year’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival”
Jonas McLean (New Ottawa Critics) Ottawa
“It would be easy to let the bitterness and quest for serenity disconnect and dismiss the culture as we find it. Instead, the final words are the words of the future, spoken by the newer voices. This gesture is one of profound grace and hopefulness. Exactly as expected from STO Union – grace and hope where none might be predicted.”
Jacob Zimmer (Small Wooden Shoe)
“…Everything shifts when Nadia Ross appears. It takes only a few seconds for us to become captivated by her voice, her undeniable presence.”
Lucie Renaud (Revue Jeu) Montreal
“What Happened to the Seeker shows us a high level of originality on the level of form. The presentation surprises and succeeds in arousing our curiosity on the path that Nadia Ross has followed.”
Genevieve Germain. (Montheatre.qc.ca) Montreal
“The show is a bit like a warm, friendly hug and a reminder that peace can be found among the chaos and that it’s okay to lie down for a little while but eventually, you just have to keep going.“
Diane Lachapelle (Apt 613) Ottawa
- Theatre Junction Grand//Calgary, Alberta//November 23 – 28, 2015
- The Theatre Centre//Toronto, Ontario//October 1 – 3, 2015
- Hebbel am Ufer//Berlin, Germany//June 18 – 20, 2015
- Magnetic North Theatre Festival//Ottawa, Ontario//June 9 – 13, 2015
- FTA Festival TransAmeriques//Montréal, Québec//2015 International Premiere May 27 – 29, 2015
WORKSHOPS AND DEVELOPMENT
- Under workshop title: Intimacy with a Thousand Things
- Meteor Festival, Bit Teatergarasjen//Bergen, Norway
- Brut Kunstlerhaus //Vienna, Austria
- ODD//Ottawa, Canada