Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Carnival - Monkeys

Now come the Monkeys!!!

As our Tigress gets carried off in a spectacular one armed lift by Mr. Lion, two Culture Shock monkeys bound on to the stage. These monkeys are b-boys (or more to the point, one b-boy and one b-girl.) So there is much bouncing, spinning and flipping that occurs.

Then the SDB monkeys stroll in to the jaunty, Calypso-infused strains of "No More Monkeys."

"5 monkeys were jumping on the bed.
1 fell off and bumped his head.
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said...
No More Monkeys jumping on the bed!

4 monkeys were jumping on the bed..."

You get the idea. Here is a rehearsal shot.

As you can see... no costumes. I actually knew what the costumes for this piece were going to be for a longtime, but I put off buying them because I knew I could get them easily and there were larger issues to deal with.

Just imagine 5 girls in pink, over-sized Curious George pajamas with soft little monkey ears and gloves.

Now usually in a ballet most of the girls will wear point shoes. But as the choreographing of this number progressed, by the time I was finished, I realized that there was not one step in the piece which required standing on point. It was all jumps and cartwheels and rolls.

So I let them do without the point shoes.

Which, in the end, I think added to the feel of 5 monkeys jumping around a bed. That, and their little woolen mittens.

What was interesting about this ballet was that all of the pieces felt "special" in some way. Usually in a ballet, there are a few sections which have an extra "pop." Whether that be a dramatic or lyrical or cool "pop," there are pieces which have an extra cache' (like the Arabian Dance in the Nutcracker or the 4 Little Swans in Swan Lake.)

In Carnival, every piece felt like the "special" piece.

And in turn, the dancers danced them with that knowledge.

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