First public showing of Work in
Progress - Monkey King: Journey to the West
Wolkstein and Anita Ratnam
- Matt Berger
Richard Armstrong • Choreography by Sat Hon
29th, 2009 8:00pm
30th, 2009 8:00pm
31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY
celebrated storyteller and author Diane Wolkstein and the great dance/actor
of India, Anita Ratnam, presented two special evenings of performance
in preparation for their full production of "Journey to the West". Work
In Progress marks the first public performance of the project which has
been in preparation for two years and on two continents.
artists told the great Chinese epic - an adventure story of the impetuous
super-powerful Monkey and the devoted, (mostly) fearless Tang priest, who
journey from China to India to bring back the Buddhist scriptures. Through
gorgeous, unexpected movement and song, Wolkstein and Ratnam throw the
text back and forth and take us on a Journey of the Soul.
CelebrateStory and the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
"Monkey King is an epic, full of drama and magic, but it is also a hugely entertaining story. There are gods and goddesses, and ogres whose
dining habits are both reprehensible and spectacular. And then, there is more: a deeply spiritual search for the Buddhist scriptures in the
course of which selfish desire and a naive yearning for enlightenment often clash. Drama is blended with comic episodes as this sumptuous
story fills the stage. Without digital images, or projector, or any of the usual trappings, the audience is offered the most vivid reality, and time
passes with amazing speed. The result is a rich and satisfying evening at the theater." - Olivier Bernier, Lecturer, Metropolitan Museum of Art
"I've seen Diane Wolkstein and Antia Ratnam perform part of Monkey King and I had a glimpse of eternity. They were opening the doors to the
cosmos for her audience and allowing them to experience the healing power of story." - Tracy Cochran, Editor, Parabola Magazine
"Diane Wolkstein's solo performance of Monkey King is a marvel. She is at the height of her career; every word, gesture and pause is exquisite.
She is a consummate artist."
- Dr. Judith Pasamanick, Professor, Director, Folklore Institute, Bank St. College of Education
"... not only does Anita Ratnam astound with the variety of her movement and performance vocabulary, but also convincingly locates all
human experience, even the banal, within a spiritual context." - Veenapani Chawla, ADISAKTHI Theatre, Pondicherry