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6 Questions for… Dancing Monkey Laboratories

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What inspires local artists? What do they dream about? These are just two of the questions we asked the Monkeys, who will be performing a 10 minute play at The Dream Factory on April 22nd. Watch this video to learn more about the Monkeys.

Dancing Monkey Laboratories are Mike Czuba, Melissa Tuplin, Nathaniel Schmidt, and Leon Schwesinger, joined by actor Amy Sawka. Leon Schwesinger was not in attendance for this conversation. His answers may have been delivered in the form of a dream.




What will Dancing Monkey Laboratories show us at The Dream Factory?

Mike: This is a performance installation combining text, movement, music, and design. Charles Fleming is charged with the murder of Karl Nimeni, and the only evidence against him is a dream.

Melissa: But here’s the thing, Charles Fleming did not kill Karl Nimeni, Karl Nimeni killed him.

Amy: This is Charles’ one last magnificent dream.

Mike: Karl Nimeni was a leading researcher into the science of Nocturology, out of which comes the literary concept of the Nocturlogical – the attempted logical translated study of the night through the unclear. Nocturology argues that dreams are not logical, not chrono-logical and not linear in any way, so to tell the real story of a dream, you must tell it in Nocturlogical order – in the logic of dreams. Karl Nimeni may or may not exist, and may or may not be living in a small hamlet in Germany.

If you had a dream for the Calgary Arts scene, what would it be?

Mike: More space to play!

Leon: Unified. Driven. Unapologetic.

Nathaniel: Toronto.

Melissa: I’m not typing that.

Nathaniel: Well what if we put a question mark at the end?

Melissa: My dream is for Calgarians to try a new artistic experience every year. There’s so much incredible work happening every week in Calgary, and I would love to see Calgarians own (even more) the art and culture that is created and exported from here!

Amy: Me too!

Melissa: What do you really dream about, Nate?

Nathaniel: More nudity, and also more product placement.

Melissa: Nathaniel Schmidt’s dreams do not necessarily reflect the dreams of Dancing Monkey Laboratories, and should be read with a winky face emoji.

Do you have a recurring dream?

Amy: No, I don’t. I don’t remember my dreams that often, so when I do, it’s because it’s different. So maybe I have recurring dreams all the time, but I don’t remember them because they aren’t unique!

Mike: I used to dream about driving, but I only got my license two years ago, and now I don’t dream about it anymore.

Nathaniel: Kind of. I can never run fast enough or punch hard enough. And wet dreams…and by wet, I mean pee myself.

Melissa: Thanks for that. I also dream that I can’t run fast enough. In my dreams I feel like I’m moving as though I’m filled with cement, which is terrifying for a dancer.

What did you last dream about?

Mike: I really don’t remember my dreams, unless they’re super f****d up.

Melissa: But you dreamt about driving.

Mike: Well I didn’t drive for 45 years, and now I do, so my brain is confused.

Melissa: I still don’t drive.

Amy: The dreams I remember are super vivid, and I always want to tell people about them, but it’s like…they don’t care.

Melissa: I care. What’s a dream you remember?

Amy: I was leaving my house for work, and my upstairs neighbour came down and was super drunk and said “I’m drunk, take me home”, and I said “You’re already home”, and he insisted, so he got into my car, and I drove around the block and dropped him off, and he was like “Thank you, you’re the best”, and also it was Mardi Gras.

Melissa: Cool.

Amy: And Chris Pine was there.

Melissa: Cooler.

Amy: And Chris Pine said “Do you have a moment to talk about the environment?” and I said “No, I’m late for work, but you can call me later.” So I pulled out a pen with the Hamburgler on it, and started writing my number, but I kept changing the numbers because I couldn’t remember my phone number. And then my neighbour’s girlfriend came into my apartment and told me we were getting evicted. And I was pissed, and then my alarm went off.

Nathaniel: Chris Pine is a good looking guy. I’d like to hang out with him. I mean, I wouldn’t bang him, but we’d hang out and get into things. Probably get discounts.

Mike: Chris Pine with a beard looks like Pierce Brosnan.

Nathaniel: They are not going print this.

Name 5 things or people you are inspired by.

Mike: Prince.

Amy: Mountains.

Nathaniel: Johanns Brahms.

Melissa: Thank you for your serious answer, Nathaniel. I’m inspired by Pina Bausch.

Leon: I am inspired by the simplicity of things.

Do you dream in colour or black and white?

Melissa: Colour, for sure.

Leon: Colour

Nathaniel: I can’t remember if there’s colour or not in my dream, so the concept of colour doesn’t exist. I think it was Georgia O’Keefe who said, if you care about whether you dream in colour or not, then your dreams are not worth remembering.

Amy: Did she really say that?

Nathaniel: No, but she did draw those flowers that look like vaginas.

Melissa: This has been a productive conversation, hasn’t it.

Mike: Has anyone seen Kirisawa’s dreams? It’s stunningly beautiful. I watch that, and I think oh, colour can be used properly! The first thing I think is black and white, but I watch that movie and I remember what colour is. Also the movie Dolls. It’s two people who rope themselves together who hate each other, and it’s a love story. It’s a film by Takeshi Kitano, who inspires me almost as much as Prince.


You can catch Dancing Monkey Laboratories in the 6th avenue entrance at The Dream Factory. Don’t have your tickets yet? Get them here: http://grandyycprod.wpengine.com/la-nuit-sauvage/