(MONKEY) BUSINESS CLASS

Multi-media theater work

Premiered in Copenhagen, Denmark

1996

(Monkey) Business Class, in collaboration with Hotel Pro Forma of Denmark and Dumb Type of Japan, rethinks the musical genre in a contemplation of the fate of currency at the end of the 20th century. The performance area is stratified into three horizontal registers: the surface of the stage, a hovering video screen above the stage displaying live and pre-recorded video, and the fly space behind the proscenium. Performers move vertically through these registers, changing their material presence for the audience. A live performer on stage can be hoisted into the middle register where he/she becomes either a live video presence or a prerecorded one governed by electronic rules, then hoisted even higher into the deep space of the fly loft and reflected back to the audience by an upwardly pitched 45° mirror. There, the performers break loose into the world of theatrical magic. The central characters are an American cowboy, a Danish sailor, and a Japanese geisha, mirroring the clichéd cultural attributes of the main collaborators. Each character is accompanied by a personal video doppelganger.

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