First public showing of Work in Progress - Monkey King: Journey to the West 

Featuring Diane Wolkstein and Anita Ratnam 
Musical Accompaniment - Matt Berger 
Directed by Richard Armstrong Choreography by Sat Hon 

Thursday, October 29th, 2009 8:00pm 
Friday, October 30th, 2009 8:00pm 

LaGuardia Performing Arts Center 
Little Theatre 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 
Internationally celebrated storyteller and author Diane Wolkstein and the great dance/actor of India, Anita Ratnam, presented two special evenings of performance in preparation for their full production of "Journey to the West". Work In Progress marks the first public performance of the project which has been in preparation for two years and on two continents. 

These remarkable artists told the great Chinese epic - an adventure story of the impetuous super-powerful Monkey and the devoted, (mostly) fearless Tang priest, who journey from China to India to bring back the Buddhist scriptures. Through gorgeous, unexpected movement and song, Wolkstein and Ratnam throw the text back and forth and take us on a Journey of the Soul. 

About The Monkey King: 

Learn more about Diane Wolkstein: www.dianewolkstein.com

Presented by CelebrateStory and the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center 

"Monkey King is an epic, full of drama and magic, but it is also a hugely entertaining story. There are gods and goddesses, and ogres whose dining habits are both reprehensible and spectacular. And then, there is more: a deeply spiritual search for the Buddhist scriptures in the course of which selfish desire and a naive yearning for enlightenment often clash. Drama is blended with comic episodes as this sumptuous story fills the stage. Without digital images, or projector, or any of the usual trappings, the audience is offered the most vivid reality, and time passes with amazing speed. The result is a rich and satisfying evening at the theater."
- Olivier Bernier, Lecturer, Metropolitan Museum of Art

"I've seen Diane Wolkstein and Antia Ratnam perform part of Monkey King and I had a glimpse of eternity. They were opening the doors to the cosmos for her audience and allowing them to experience the healing power of story."
- Tracy Cochran, Editor, Parabola Magazine

"Diane Wolkstein's solo performance of Monkey King is a marvel. She is at the height of her career; every word, gesture and pause is exquisite. She is a consummate artist."
- Dr. Judith Pasamanick, Professor, Director, Folklore Institute, Bank St. College of Education

"... not only does Anita Ratnam astound with the variety of her movement and performance vocabulary, but also convincingly locates all human experience, even the banal, within a spiritual context."
- Veenapani Chawla, ADISAKTHI Theatre, Pondicherry

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