What inspired you to create the Dancing Monkey Laboratory? What’s your favourite thing about Calgary? These are just two of the questions we asked the Dancing Monkeys, which is our sixth group to perform in the program NEXT STAGE, with an amazing multidisciplinary work.
What inspired you to create Dancing Monkey Laboratories?
Dancing Monkey Laboratories began in Montreal in 2009 when Mike Czuba and Larry Lamont needed a company to produce Mike’s play I AM I (now published). The Laboratory travelled to Calgary with Mike the following year and in 2011, in a fit of creative desire, he convinced Melissa to join the collective. They began exploring what a shared interdisciplinary practice could look like and SATELLITES was born. In 2012, they convinced Nate to join the team to compose music for SATELLITES for the Ignite! Festival, and in 2013, they convinced Leon to design SATELLITES for its full production. Three more full-length productions (including Karl Nimeni is not Dead – I Killed Karl Nimeni) have been created since, and the rest, as they say, only the Monkey knows.
Describe your performance
Mike: Karl Nimeni is not Dead – I Killed Karl Nimeni has developed into a container that can accept whatever dream you wish to get lost in. It asks you questions and allows you to find the answers in your own time.
Melissa: You know the 17-minute long fantasy ballet sequence in An American in Paris? Like that, but if it was choreographed by a bunch of sleep-deprived Monkeys hopped up on caffeine and was nothing like it at all.
Nate: I find it difficult to describe. For me it’s like a feeling of darkness winking at you. It’s quirky at times and it never forgets that we’re all going to die anyways.
Leon: I would describe it as the place between absolute insecurity and pure confidence. It suspends itself in a container and manages to hit all the right nerves.
What’s your favourite thing about Calgary?
Mike: The people I’ve been fortunate to work and learn from with since I arrived…
Melissa: I’m gonna be that person and say my favourite thing is that my family lives here. #tuptastic
Nate: You can find success despite yourself.
Leon: My favourite thing about Calgary is the inconsistent seasonal chaos.
What’s your favourite song?
Mike: It changes weekly – right now: Tender Love by Meshell Ndegeocello (cover of the Force MD’s hit)
Melissa: French Tattoo by The Fugitives
Nate: Depends on so many factors. I guess right now it’s Ride Down the Avenue by Walter Martin
Leon: Living Room by Tegan and Sara
What’s your secret indulgence?
Mike: Occasionally allowing myself to be okay..
Melissa: Candy Crush – Soda Saga
Nate: Sugary peanut butter right out of the jar with a spoon.
Leon: I listen to Taylor Swift more than I care to admit.