“Monchichi” is a Modern Dance Marvel

Saturday, May 27, 2017
by

HONJI WANG AND SÉBASTIEN RAMIREZ bring new meaning to the expression, “body language.”

In what can only be described as phenomenal, their dancing in “Monchichi” explores the full range and minutest intricacies of physical movement through a combination of strength, agility, grace, and acrobatic ingenuity.

At times, they verge on a new language of “movement as emotion” while they transition through a fascinating spectrum of human moods, impulses, postures, and personalities.

Amidst near-impossible looking maneuvers, Wang and Ramirez exhibit perfect body control and make complex look so easy that you want to move as they move and be as fit as they are (Ha!).

On stage for nearly an hour with the company of only one mysterious tree, they perform a series of inventive dances, in tandem and individually. Wang with her tight, explosive punch steps, Ramirez with his dexterous twists and wide-open leaps, and the two of them in tricky synchronicity give the impression of being part rubber, part illusion, and all fascinating fun.

Like many contemporary dance routines, theirs does not follow a given sequence, nor is there any “story” to figure out. However, unlike some contemporary choreography, this one never causes you to wonder what’s going on, where it’s headed, or what it might mean. They are just dancing—communicating beautifully through movement—and evincing simple joy in doing so. Their expressive combinations and economy of movement are a sheer pleasure to watch as the hour unfolds.

Also unlike many of today’s artistic explorations into the human psyche, there is nothing about this one that is dark or dissident, nothing controversial or challenging, and nothing to prove.

There are simply two exceptionally talented dancers on stage emitting a very bright light and passing it back and forth to each other — just like the tiny flowers on that mysterious tree.


 


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