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Wonderland Festival

Little Joy

  • 10 Sep 2022
  • Wonder Hoose
  • Wonder Hoose

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Little Joy

Inspired by the joyful arts of stage fighting, slapstick and Foley sound effects, “Little Joy” is an all-terrain vehicle of mass destruction for three charmingly violent dancers. Punches, slaps and kicks are built into intricate sequences of consensual violence. Following in the classic tradition of slapstick, moments of (imaginary) pain are expressed through exquisitely expressive movement. This is serious play, hilariously tragic, and thrilling to watch.

Simultaneously, the three performers create the sound effects for their own movements. A slap on the cheek is enhanced with the clang of a metal pan; the sight of hair being ripped out is accompanied by the sound of Velcro — a paradoxical juxtaposition that enhances the effectiveness of each impact while playfully exposing its artifice.

Important information

Event takes place throughout the day (times tbc)



About the Artist

Choreographer Joshua Monten has received numerous commissions to choreograph stylized fighting scenes in opera, theater and ballet productions. Typical projects include the street brawl fugue in Wagner’s “Meistersinger von Nurnberg” and a baroque-style duel of cowboys and Indians in Rameau’s “Platee.” Continuing along this path led Monten to produce the evening-length dance production “Joy” and a related dance video, both of which have been shown at dozens of venues since their premiere in 2016.

Now, with “Little Joy,” Monten has distilled these experiences into a compact dance performance three dancers, 20 minutes long, appropriate for all ages, and ready to be performed in diverse locations, both indoors and outdoors. The inherent advantage of performing in public spaces is that it allows the audience to come thrillingly close, to see what full-bodied dancing feels like, to hear the dancers’ shoes scraping and their joints creaking, to be infected by the movement’s groove. The performers interact directly with the audience and invite them into the world they create. “Little Joy” is an ideal way to expose new audiences to contemporary dance.

Little Joy Dance Video

About Wonderland