HISTORY OF DEVELOPMENT
red diva projects launched at Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympic Games when Marie Clements was commissioned to create the Aboriginal Pavilion’s closing performance. Created and directed by Marie Clements, composed by Jennifer Kreisberg and set amidst an original sculptural installation by Connie Watts. This nine-minute live performance of The Road Forward featured Jennifer Kreisberg, Cheri Maracle and Michelle St. John along with key collaborators including Wayne Lavallee, Maurice and Delhia Nahanee, Ostwelve and Russell Wallace. With the Aboriginal Pavilion one of most popular venues at the 2010 Games, we were able to reach a national and international audience and showcase the talents of Aboriginal artists from across Canada.
The short film version of The Road Forward, also directed by Marie, has since traveled the world, premiering at more than 16 film festivals in North America and Europe, and winning Best Music Video at the American Indian Film Festival as well as Best in Show (Audience Award) at the Native American Film & Video Festival of the Southeast.
On March 2011, a world premiere of Tombs of the Vanishing Indian, a co-production with Native Earth Performing Arts presented in Toronto, written by Marie Clements and directed by Yvette Nolan with an original sound score by Jennifer Kreisberg.
On February 2012, Prison Chronicles, a spoken-word performance written by Marie, was presented in Vancouver as part of a residency with Simon Fraser University’s Audain Gallery, featuring Marie, Michelle, cellist Peggy Lee, visual artist Stephen Gladue, and women writer’s from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who wrote and performed a 30 minute spoken word performance facilitated and directed by Marie Clements.
An expanded 90-minute version of The Road Forward was developed while red diva projects was in residence at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre in 2011-12, with a work-in-progress performance presented to a sold-out crowd at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival on February 1, 2013.
On April 2013, The Edward Curtis Project, written and directed by Marie, premiered as a co-production by the National Arts Centre and the Great Canadian Theatre Company in association with red diva in Ottawa. The Edward Curtis Project was an artistic and critical success, playing to packed houses over a three-week run in Ottawa, and winning an Ottawa Circle’s Award for Visual Design and Lighting. The show originally premiered at the 2010 Cultural Olympiad at Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver as part of the PuSh Festival, garnering eight Jessie Richardson Award nominations, including Best Production and Best Original Play, and taking home the Jessie Award for Best Lighting.
On October 2013, red diva brought The Edward Curtis Project Photo Installation to Ecocentrix Indigenous Arts in London, England. The installation documented the North American collaboration between playwright/director Marie Clements and acclaimed photojournalist Rita Leistner as they travelled to over six different nations in the America’s for over three years chronicling the survival of Edward Curtis’s “North American Indians”.
On February 5th, 2015, The Road Forward a multi-media concert, written and directed by Marie Clements and composed by Jennifer Kreisberg premiered at The Push International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver, a red diva projects- Visceral Visions co-production. Featuring an award-winning ensemble The Road Forward sold out to packed houses and critical success.
The Road Forward 2010: Leela Gilday, Kevin Loring, Jennifer Kreisberg, Ostwelve, Pure Fe, Byron Chiefmoon, Michelle St. John, Evan Adams. Photo; Barry Gnyp