Photo Credit: Phil Wayes

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Crazy Dancing Death Monkey

I find it hugely ironic that just four days ago I made a comment about how dancers are so glamorous onstage, "with all our pretty costumes, makeup, and slicked-down hair;" and then I spent the weekend dressed like a monkey.

This weekend, a bunch of us performed Pain Pleasure, and a Bunny Rabbit as part of a Fringe Festival. It was fun, and I got a chance to work with some really great people. Here's the gist of it: A father takes his three daughters hunting at a cage farm (where you select an animal from a cage, it gets set loose, and you shoot it. Kind of like what Dick Cheney does, but without lawyers). The owner of the cage farm was played by the same actor/musician who provided our music. The animals in question were a bunny rabbit, a frog, a monkey, a cat, Bob Hope, a butterfly, and a bird; we danced until we got shot down multiple times (except for B. Hope, who told awful jokes until the audience started yelling "Shoot him!"). At the end we all come back to life as demons, and...well, rocks fall and everyone dies. ;-) It was one of the more unusual pieces I've been in, and IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.
The hunting family was pretty awesome-- our director played the Dad, and each of the three daughters (a girly-girl, a goth, and a gun-happy lesbian) had their own song (two of them even had their small dogs onstage) and bickered throughout the show. We also had trees on the stage-- not set pieces, mind you, but actors dressed in green and holding signs that read "I'M A TREE."


During the final song (where we turn into demons), a set of keys fell out of an actor's pocket. I grabbed them up and weiled them like weapons, so I was an armed crazy dancing death monkey on Friday (Saturday I grabbed a fallen "I'm a tree" sign and started hitting people with it. Staged violence-- it's fun!)


The Fest was hosted by a company that I used to dance with (I mentioned them on here as "Company B" a long time ago) in their theater. I have danced in that place/on that very stage thousands of times before; but I hadn't been there in over a year and a half and the place had been completely renovated since then (and it looks amazing). I felt weird going there after all this time-- nervous, even-- but it was still a fabulous experience, and I got to meet/work with some really great people. The audience really liked the play, someone on Twitter referred to our director as "a genius," and I would totally love to work with those folks again. Thanks, guys!

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