Inuussia, the seal woman
An old woman appears among the snow drifts. She is a seal woman. A long time ago, she shed her whitecoat skin and left the cold waters of the Great North to live on dry land as an Inuit woman. Having reached the end of her life, she returns to the seashore to share her knowledge with Teereloo, the little whitecoat she has adopted. She offers her songs, her rituals and her culture to the whitecoat and recounts her life, from her birth in an igloo to the arrival of the white man. But beware of the mysterious white bear lurking closeby …
The seal woman
Performed by an actress, this old Inuit woman could be a grandmother, but she never had children. She was born a whitecoat (baby seal) and the seal women gave her their gift. As a result, she can live as a seal or shed her skin and live as a human being. During her long life, she lost her seal skin. From that point on, she began to adopt whitecoats (female baby seals) so that they too could become seal women.
Teereloo ( which means bearded baby seal in the Inuit language)
A puppet is sued to represent a female baby seal. It has been an orphan since birth and the old seal woman found her on a piece of packice and adopted her. Before long, it will become a seal woman and must learn to defend itself and survive in the far north as a human being.
Nanuk, the white bear
The sound of a gut bucket and a light projection in shadow theatre are used to represent Nanuk. It stands for danger and death. Nanuk is constantly lurking around the old woman and Teereloo.
The little puppet
It is a little puppet that represents both the old woman when she was young and the old woman’s doll that her parents made for her.
There are 2 musicians on stage. They play the music and the soundscape live. They represent the force of nature and accompany the old woman as she reminisces. They conjure up and bring about elements of nature such as animals, the wind, the sun, the moon, the blizzard and the northern lights.
With the help of puppeteer musicians, actress tells this story inspired by an Inuit legend. Set in the land of northern lights, the story deals with cold, survival, springtime and love.
Photos: Robert Etcheverry
- Written and directed by : Hélène Ducharme
- Interpreted by : Muriel Dutil or Luisa Huertas, Stéphan Côté, Pascal Delvaux or Sylvain Massé, Marie-Claude Labrecque
- Composer : Stéphan Côté
- Puppet designer : Claude Rodrigue
- Shadow theatre designer : Alain Boisvert
- Lighting designer : Martin Gagné
- Set and props : inspired from Linda Brunelle’s original idea
- Costume designer : Diane Lavoie, assisted by Renée Tardif
- Makeup designer : François Cyr
- Wigs : Rachel Tremblay
- Assistant to the Director : Julie Mercier
- Set consultant : Jocelyn Proulx
- Set built by : Linda Brunelle, Rino Côté, Danny Glaude, Serge Caron and Jocelyn Proulx
- Graphic image : Marc-André Coulombe
- Artistic consultant : Sylvain Massé
Inuussia, the seal-woman was created in residency at the Théâtre de la Ville, in Longueuil, Québec