Damon Albarn’s Latest: Monkey: Journey to the West

Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) zags again with his latest project, Monkey: Journey to the West:

An inspired marriage between the arts of ancient China and contemporary Western popular culture, Monkey: Journey to the West is a dazzling adaptation of a 400-year-old classic of Chinese literature. In Monkey, a cast of more than 60 Chinese opera performers, gravity-defying acrobats and martial arts performers animate the fabled peregrinations of the Monkey King in a heady mix of adventure, mystery and magic.

Damon Albarn, former front man of the British pop band Blur and co-creator of the virtual band Gorillaz composed the music, an exhilarating mélange of east and west, pop and classical. Jamie Hewlett, Albarn’s co-creator from Gorillaz, is responsible for the fantastical visual concept of the show which includes animation and literally hundreds of enchanting costumes. The celebrated Chinese director Chen Shi Zheng – well-known to Spoleto Festival USA audiences for the spellbinding Peony Pavilion – has harnessed these many talents into a visual and aural feast that The Times of London called “a piece of musical theater of the most spectacular kind.”

Produced and created by Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, in coproduction with Manchester International Festival and the State Opera House, Berlin (Staatsoper Unter Den Linden)

This looks pretty bizarre, but very inventive. More info at the Spoleto Festival site.

Gorillaz co-creators on Monkey : JTTW

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