Recently we worked with choreographers Jozef Frucek and Linda Kapetanea. Let’s just start out by saying that they were a very inspirational duo. Fighting Monkey is extremely physical, and I mean EXTREMELY. If I were to describe it to you in a few words, I would say Aikido (a type of martial art) + Modern + Groove Funk = Fighting Monkey.
Our warm ups would include exercises were we just wrestled each other, one pinning another down while they attempted to sit up. Or we would partner up and one person would lay on the ground while the other tried stepping on them and they had to be able to dodge any advances made. It was really interesting because of the humanity that was used in basis for all of these movement exercises. We would always be asked, “What is the most natural thing to do?” Some days we would work solely on walking. Others, we would be assaulted by a wooden stick. The theme was mobility. Jozef pointed out how we’re all so focused on our dancing and training that we’ve forgotten how to just be a normal human being.
One of the best parts was when we were given a large wooden block per couple and two hand axes and we were told to create a ball. Every day we would work for an hour or two of just chopping these blocks. Our hands became worn and torn with the manual labor that was so alien to them. It was beautiful, the way we had to learn to feel the weight of the ax fall into the wood instead of working with aggressive force. Jozef told us how we gain the qualities of the things we work with…wood, water, etcetera. He said a lot of beautiful things that I wrote down to share with you all:
There are Dancers and there are Movers. Movers can be philosophers, writers, and even maybe sometimes dancers. They observe the stars and time…and sometimes even stretch.
Do not reach for the world, let the world come to you. The further your expectations are, the more anxiety and stress you have. Accepting things the way they are doesn’t necessarily mean you are giving up. Open your heart up…take the weight off your shoulders. Everything is only temporary.
Don’t spread yourself too much. It’s about how much knowledge you share and how much you keep to yourself. Moderation. Do things outside of dance, and let it grow into your art, not into two separate hobbies.
Life is about circularity (and we will die with your imperfections.)
Every chaos has its order.
Do not live in your projections. HOping for better moments will make you miss the most important one, the one that’s happening now. You will look back on your life and feel sorry for yourself that all your moments passed you.
They were wonderful to work with and a blog post could never fully describe the experience we had with them. It wasn’t just a workshop, or just some classes, but definitely an experience. I recommend that everyone search them up on YouTube, or the next time you see me in person, bring them up and I am sure that I can talk for days about them.