LOS ANGELES, CA: "Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny"
Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble in association with Greenway Arts Alliance, present a movement adaptation of John Milton’s eloquent epic poem, Paradise Lost. The innovative vision adapted by NMA co-artistic director Jones (Welsh) Talmadge and co-directed with NMA co-artistic director Laura Covelli, blends dance, acrobatics, dynamic partnering and Not Man Apart’s unique brand of physical storytelling in an original version of this iconic tale of Adam and Eve’s Temptation and the War in Heaven. Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny opens at the Greenway Court Theatre on March 3 for a five-week run.
Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny features bodies flying across the stage on harness and chains, augmented by the stunning and unique live digital animation effects of J-Walt Adamczyk and video installation artist Hannah Beavers. While the performance ensemble battles as angels and demons, powerful visual images of the creation of the universe and the Garden of Eden will be projected live on stage to weave an emotional tale surrounded by evocative original music and costumes. J-Walt, a performer, interactive designer, filmmaker, graphic artist, composer, and also a Scientific and Technical Academy Award winner for his development of a real-time pre-visualization system, has been at the forefront of interactive art and computer performance, expanding the uses of computer animation into unchartered territories – an innovative and exciting endeavor for this new NMA production.
Not Man Apart’s retelling of humankind’s fall from grace includes a modern feminist approach to this timeless literary masterpiece - and proposes a timely conversation of gender equality, proactive communication, and the balance of power. Translating the eloquence of Milton into pure movement storytelling with no words; is only made possible by a stellar cast of angels and demons and a priceless design team featuring original music, costumes, and choreography, integrated with computer generated imagery. Whether you are familiar with the story of Paradise Lost, or not at all, and regardless of your belief system, Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny seeks a new perspective on the future of humanity, and to empower audiences to fully claim a created destiny and connection to the whole. It’s up to us, we get to create a Heaven on Earth. As Milton says: “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
According to co-director and NMA Co-Artistic Director Laura Covelli, “Our performance adaptation of Milton's Paradise Lost, speaks to the universal human experience, what it means to be human and our relationship to the divine. We explore the concepts of collective spirituality; spirituality being something inclusive, which touches us all. At a time in our country when race, religion, sexual preference and gender are, once again in the spotlight, NMA, as a company of artists with diverse multi-cultural, multi-faith backgrounds, have come together to tell a story about humanity and equality through the archetypal lens of Paradise Lost. It’s a story that is even more imperative for us to tell in light of our current political culture in America.”
Co-director and long-time Not Man Apart, Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer, Jones (Welsh) Talmadge exclaims, “Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny marks another exciting, challenging and innovative step for Not Man Apart. We are telling the iconic tale of the creation of the universe, the war in heaven, and the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden with the talents of acrobatic movement, dance, aerial arts, martial arts, and stunning visual graphics designed and produced live on stage. I’ve been working on this play for over 10 years and Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny marks my directorial debut. I’m thrilled to be working with co-director Laura Covelli and the Not Man Apart Ensemble on such a fun, humorous, moving and athletic spectacle for every age and walk of life. We hope to entertain, and also empower our audiences; inspire positive action and promote love and connection over fear and conflict.”
Greenway Court Theatre seeks to support artists that are experimenting with bold ideas and pushing forward the form of theatre itself. "NMA's daring, movement-infused aesthetic illuminates the human experience in surprising ways, fitting perfectly within Greenway's desire to facilitate the creation of impactful, innovative theatre. Our partnership allows us the opportunity to showcase and introduce that work to West Hollywood and the Greenway community," explains Tiffany Moon, Greenway Producing Director.
Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble generates innovative physical works of theater and transformational experiences. Founded in 2004 by John Farmanesh-Bocca in northern California, the award-winning company has toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, receiving the coveted Fringe First Award. In 2009, NMA premiered Pericles Redux at the Kirk Douglas Theater followed by Titus Redux in 2010, reprising Titus Redux as part of RADAR L.A., and establishing Los Angeles as the NMA home city. In 2011, NMA was commissioned by the Getty Villa to adapt Hercules Furens in a workshop performance. NMA then performed Eduardo Machado’s Lysistrata Unbound starring Olympia Dukakis at the Villa in 2013. There was the recently completed sold out run of The SuperHero and his Charming Wife, an original work written and directed by Co-Artistic Director Aaron Hendry and performed at Highways Performance Space, and Ajax in Iraq written by Ellen McLaughlin had its second run at the Greenway Court Theatre, establishing a new relationship with NMA as the first Resident Company production. With a mission to create highly athletic and innovative theatrical events, and establish a new kind of physical theater genre that is exciting, relevant, accessible and all inclusive, NMA strives to be one of the premier physical theater ensembles in the United States.
Greenway GO was designed to provide access to and engagement in the arts to the Los Angeles community. By building on current initiatives, we envision the program as a vital entry point for students and the community to experience a variety of art events for free or for a very low cost. Greenway GO is part of a larger, evolving effort to engage in creative place making, accessibility, and true community building through the arts. As Greenway continues to grow and explore a new model for how arts, education and social enterprise can work together to help organizations remain both relevant and economically viable, it is simultaneously important that we find ways to include access points for community members who may be shut out by traditional pricing, location and lack of connection to the art itself.
Jones (Welsh) Talmadge is a performer, arts activist, and warrior. Having toured internationally for five seasons with the acclaimed Diavolo / Architecture in Motion, a company specializing in acrobatic dance on large moving structures, and then becoming the Associate Artistic Director and Diavolo Institute Director until 2015. He now runs Outreach for Not Man Apart, establishing sustainable community arts programs and building a comprehensive arts curriculum for children and adults in Los Angeles. Jones has a rich career in acrobatic performance, high-octane dance, and choreography. Jones became the Founding Managing Director of Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble in 2009, and has done movement direction and choreography on every major Not Man Apart production since.
Jones (Welsh) Talmadge (Diavolo / Architecture in Motion) plays Satan; J-Walt Adamczyk (founding member of Disney’s VR Studio) plays Father God; Alina Bolshakova (NMA Physical Theatre Ensemble) Nosferatu: Symphony in Terror) plays Eve; Charles Roy (international dancer / choreographer/teacher) plays Adam; Laura Covelli (NMA Physical Theatre Ensemble, LAWSC) plays Sin; James Bane plays Death; Zachary Reeve Davidson (NMA Physical Theatre Ensemble) plays The Son of God; Anne-Marie Talmadge (Diavolo / Architecture in Motion, Nickerson-Rossi Dance) plays Archangel Michael. Also in the cast are Joseph Baca (Abdiel), Marguerite French (Mother God), Alexander Garland (Beelzebulb), Kendall Johnson (Raphael), Janine Montag (Moloch), Moses Norton (Belial), Elisa Rosin (Gabriel).
Visual Effects for Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny by J-Walt Adamczyk; Video Design by Hannah Beavers; Lighting Design by John Bass; Aerial Rigging by Paul Beauvais of Focus Fish; Wardrobe Design by Ashphord Jacoway; Choreography by Jones (Welsh) Talmadge, Anne-Marie Talmadge, Alina Bolshakova, and Charles Roy; Set Builder by Ryan Crouse; Set Design by Jones (Welsh) Talmadge; Dance Floor by Mister Marley; and music by Elisa Rosin, Alysia Michelle James, Bernie Sirelson. Additional Creative Consultation by John Farmanesh-Bocca, Courtney Munch, and Pamela Donohoo.
Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny opens on Friday, March 3, 2017; performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. through April 2. Tickets on Fridays and Saturdays are $30 General Admission; $20 seniors with ID; and $15 Military and Students with ID. On Sundays, tickets are $20 General Admission and seniors with ID, $15 Military and Students with ID. The Greenway Court Theatre is located at 544 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Free parking in the lot adjacent to the theatre. For reservations and information, visit www.greenwaycourttheatre.org/paradiselost/ or call (323) 673-0544.
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