Paradisiacal Rites

Paradisiacal Rites, Saint Genet’s newest and most ambitious piece yet, transforms elements of ballet, symphony, opera, installation, and body-based performance art into holistic and hypnotic, virtuosic and visceral performances. Fueled by American Hysteria, the illusion of nationalism, by blood booze and bands, our performances morph, through varying ecstatic states, between the horrific and the sublime.Paradisiacal Rites  will premiere at the Donau Festival in Austria in April, and return home to Seattle for our U.S. premiere at On the Boards in Seattle.

Paradisiacal Rites has been germinating for over two years. This process began with a residency in Mighty Tieton, Washington where Saint Genet hosted a number of artists, choreographers, and dancers to work intensely on developing new performative modes and movement. We continued development with a series of Aesthetic Declarations we namedTransports of Delirium – four evening length performative and installatory sketches – housed in the shell of Lawrimore Project in 2011. The process has included ritual meals for the company and the public, fundraisers, and the “Sorrows” cassette release (with partners Publicide, Inc. and Trench Art Records) of music commissioned for Transports of Delirium. Now, following many months of rehearsal and preparations, all these acts coalesce into our evening-length Paradisiacal Rites.

Luminato Festival Ancillary Performances

June 10th – 14th

For Luminato’s Paradisiacal Rites premiere, Mr. Mitchell pursued another  series of “action images” at secluded and secret locations in and around Toronto. His site and time specific performance exhibitions known as Variations i, ii, iii, iv, v will began at Dawn (5:36am) and continued with the recreation of Buster Simpson’s Woodman as a 34k procession to Daniel Faria Gallery where Saint Genet exhibited Chris Burden’s SHOOT, alongside the documentation of the recreation of SHOOT and its artifacts Other action images occurred at 4:00pm in the gallery. A final procession led to MOCCA inciting the first actions of Paradisiacal Rites.

These impossible performance exhibitions created dramatic illusions affecting and changing the real history and interpretation of the large-scale experimental opera Paradisiacal Rites. These “Variations” operate and highlight real, dramatic, and historic/poetic time. They are each an exercise of “volitionlessness”; an exploration of the dissolution of ego and the release of consciousness into the structure of the performance/procession. Slowly becoming an image of the ultimate subtraction, the death of the self, which, as it materializes, is refused.

If, as Mitchell posits, by way of Herbert Blau, that the pivotal mechanism of the Theatre is the idea of punishment, whether in comedy or tragedy; that if, indeed, there is an Eternal Return it moves through punishment (the ordeal) like a compulsion dream; then there is a sense that every performance is a trial, the processions/action/images/and ghosts of past performances improvise a history that litters Toronto’s landscape with unnameable deeds, offering up evidence. This complex process allowed the walls of the theatre (MOCCA) to become diaphanous, turning the theatre into a memory place with an ever changing and unrecorded history.

Saint Genet MMXIII

Saint Genet: MMXIII from Saint Genet on Vimeo.
Saint Genet is proud to present a brief trailer of Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell’s re-creation of Christopher Burden’s Shoot, the 2 hour performance in Pioneer Square Nearly, Nearly Invisible, and Paradisiacal Rites at On the Boards.
Please be on the look out of the extended version produced in partnership with Northwest Film Forum.

Skip to toolbar