The Monkey King at Stage Time and Juice XXIII (May 20, 2017)
Six kids, aged 6 – 12 plus two fathers plus two adults with performing experience joined forces to depict the opening scenes of the epic legend: The Journey to the West.
With words, our expressive bodies, music and a few found objects, we presented a rendition of the origin of The Monkey King from the ancient Chinese tale.
The children creatively used their bodies and voices in expressive interpretive dance to depict Chaos (before the Earth was formed), then the planets and, finally, the Immortal Stone from which the Stone Monkey was born. Then the players transformed into the animals who greeted the Stone Monkey and then again into the monkeys who eventually became the subjects of the Handsome Monkey King.
According to legend, as the monkeys played in a stream, they wondered where the water came from. They followed the stream to a waterfall. We used a length of pale blue fabric, leading it out across and around the playing area. The fathers held one end up high to create the image of a waterfall while the children ducked under: playing in the “water”.
Most of the spoken words came from our Narrators but the children had key lines that gave the performance life and moved the story along.
Our music sources were recordings of traditional Chinese bamboo flute and guzheng, contemporary Japanese sound-collage and the Big Band (1940’s American Swing) classic “Sing, Sing, Sing.”
The young lad who took the title role, wrote the following reflection on his experience:
It was mind boggling to mEEE just dancing around and actually be King and do this amazing stuff! My favorite parts are jumping in and out from the waterfall and when they say “Long live our great king!”. It was fun in many ways! The top three of my favorite things in this Monkey King production are: 1. Muffins, 2. Rehearsals, 3. Having fun doing everything. I like Ms. Ruth shows us how to do teamwork, we had a good team. I learned how to remember lines and do the theatrics. I also learned how to move around projecting my voice. I love to share my ideas with everybody, too. Of course, I love to do this again, because there were cupcakes and muffins, AND because I can participate in the performance. I like to perform, and I want to do another performance in the next one. ~ Max
Two additional performing Juicers wrote about their experiences. You can read them here…”
And, finally, a drawing by Juicer Charlotte Jade
And that’s the eNews for May 2017
from the Red Room, the culture of listening and sharing.