Piazzolla and 18Monkeys

at Maiiam Contemporary art Museum, Nov 24 at 19:00 PM
at Neilson Hays Library, Nov 26-27, 2018 at 7:30 PM

Mythology from the East and music from the West meet in this prodigious intercultural piece in which Thai traditional mask dancers illustrate an epic story to the rhythm of Astor Piazzolla’s tango. After 18Monkeys Dance Theatre has been invited to work with the jazz band Escalandrum, led by Daniel Piazzolla, Astor’s grandson, 18Monkeys has been revisited to premiere at Teatro San Martin, Buenos Aires in September 2015.

As Rama’s monkey soldier, Kasorntamala has to be loyal to his duty even though it means him fighting with the demon Mungornkan, whom he has taken an oath to be best friends with for life. At the same time, as a friend, he cannot betray Mungornkan. This dilemma leads to Kasorntamala’s great sacrifice in conducting the battle by Rama’s side, but in the end throwing himself into Rama’s arrow to receive the deadly blow together with Mungornkan. Is this sacrifice made only because of Kasorntamala’s loyalty both to his duty and friendship, or maybe are there other reasons?

Jitti intends to present a personal interpretation of this Ramakrien’s episode. More in touch with nowadays’ perspective, his minimalist creation relies more on the dancers’ physicality to play with the traditional dance aesthetic and to convey a more abstract and conceptual piece full of sensual and mystical stunning visual moments, which allow the audience to relate to the story in their own way. U

Performers: Anucha Sumaman, Benjamin Tardif, Dovydas Strimaitis and Sukadeva Joshua Horn
Musicians:  Nicolas Guerschberg Piano, Tasana Nagavajara Violin and Panyaphat Wongwechwiwat Violoncello
Direction and Choreography: Jitti Chompee
Costume Designer: Anurak Thangsomboon
Still Photographer: Boaz Zippor
Lighting: Jirach Eaimsa-ard
Musics: Astor Piazzolla
Duration: 50 mins, creation 2010 premiere Patravadi Theatre. Recreation 2015 at Teatro San Martin, Buenos Aires