What is paradise? Is it Heaven, or a beach in Thailand, or the simple joys of life? Dominique Hervieu, assistant choreographer of the French dance performance Paradis , believes paradise is all in the mind. Although it was difficult to interpret paradise, Hervieu said people could create it through their imagination. 'Paradise can be part of our everyday life and inspired by simple pleasures,' she said. Hervieu hoped her show could help fire people's imagination to fulfil their desires. Paradis was presented by French dance company Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu at the Academy for Performing Arts as part of this year's Hong Kong Arts Festival. Hervieu said the performance showed dance could be amusing, inventive and appealing to people of all ages. There are two big video screens at the back of the stage, where a veritable Noah's Ark of creature - elephants, dogs, horses, camels, zebras and people - mingle with each other. Paradis develops into a never- ending game between the dancers on stage and video images; sometimes the action on the two screens mirrors each other, sometimes it stretches across both of them. At other times, it's difficult to tell what is live and what is video, as the dancers and the images create wonderful kaleidoscopic patterns. The production uses a highly inventive mixture to present different races and cultures - from Africans and Europeans to clas sical and hip-hop music. Hervieu explained the setting projected today's society and called on people from different races to respect each other's identity to facilitate inter-cultural communication. The show had been warmly received in Europe, Thailand, Taiwan and the mainland. Asked whether she considered Hong Kong her paradise, Hervieu said this could be true for people from the mainland. The choreographer said she would not reveal her paradise to others. 'I just arrived here, so it's quite difficult to give you my impressions about the place. Actually, I find Hong Kong is a city full of energy,' she said. Hervieu, who took up dancing at an early age, met choreographer Jose Montalvo when she was 19 and formed a partnership which continues today. Along the way, Hervieu picked up several international prizes as a dancer in Montalvo's productions. In 1991, she became assistant choreographer and helped co- produce pieces such as Podebal, Double Trouble and Hollaka Hollala . For Hervieu, dancing is now an integral part of her life and she hopes audiences will join her in exploring their own paradise.