Nature Theater of Oklahoma + EN-KNAP Group
Pursuit of Happiness

  • Photo: Andrej Lamut

The Nature Theater of Oklahoma is a performing arts group under the direction of Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper. The name is derived from “The Nature Theater of Oklahoma,” the final destination that the protagonist of Kafka’s novel The Man Who Disappeared (Amerika) is heading toward. Since its formation in 2006, the group has been challenging its own artistic limits, and the limits of their audience, with each and every performance; their unique extreme performance style boasts a cult-like popularity around the world.

Pursuit of Happiness (taking its title from one of the founding principles of the United States of America), the work to be staged for Aichi Triennale 2019, is commissioned and performed by, internationally active Slovenian dance company EN-KNAP Group—a parody Western, performed by highly trained dancers. The exaggerated gestures and literary style of dialogue bring to the fore both the emptiness of the United States of America, and the megalomania exposed since Trump’s inauguration.

Sat, Aug 3, 19:00
Sun, Aug 4, 17:00
100 min
English (with Japanese surtitles)
Nagoya City Performing Arts Center
3 min. on foot from Shin-Sakae station (Higashiyama line)
Ticket prices
Adults ¥3,500
U25 ¥3,000
No children under school age are permitted.
Childcare Services
Available for all programs. Details will be announced in July.

Nature Theater of Oklahoma + EN-KNAP Group

Nature Theater of Oklahoma

  • Founded in 2004
  • Based in New York, USA

Nature Theater of Oklahoma is an award-winning New York art and performance group under the direction of Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper. Since Poetics: a ballet brut, our first dance piece created as an ensemble, Nature Theater of Oklahoma has been devoted to making the work we don’t know how to make, putting ourselves in impossible situations, and working from out of our own ignorance and unease. We strive to create an unsettling live situation that demands total presence from everyone in the room. We use the readymade material around us, found space, overheard speech, and observed gesture, and through extreme formal manipulation, and superhuman effort, we affect in our work a shift in the perception of everyday reality that extends beyond the site of performance and into the world in which we live.

  • Photo: Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper self-portrait

Selected Works & Awards

Die Kinder der Toten, Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, International Film Critics Prize for Best Film
No President, Dusseldorf, Germany
Die Kinder der Toten, Nestroy Prize, Vienna, Austria, Nestroy Special Prize for Theater
Deutschland 2071, Cologne, Germany
Pursuit of Happiness, Ljubljana, Slovenia


  • Founded in 2007
  • Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia

EN-KNAP Group, led by its founder, the internationally renowned choreographer and dancer Iztok Kovač, is the only permanent contemporary dance company in Slovenia. Since 2009, this ensemble of remarkable dancers has been based at the Španski Borci Cultural Centre in the Ljubljana-Moste neighbourhood. Since its establishment ten years ago, EN-KNAP Group has worked with over 30 Slovene and international choreographers and theater directors of aesthetically diverse backgrounds, and created a repertoire of 26 full-evening stage works and a dance film. In addition to making over 50 domestic appearances per year, the company regularly tours internationally.