Good Fortune Drinks Too Much

New work by Dancing Monkey Laboratories By Jessica Alley
Good Fortune Drinks Too Much


At Dancing Monkey Laboratories, collective members Mike Czuba, Melissa Tuplin, Nathaniel Schmidt and Larry Lamont are more than just performers. They’re scientists who research, explore and deconstruct theatre, challenge aesthetics on a visceral scale, bridge artistic communities and create new works through interdisciplinary collaborations. They also contribute to the academic discourse on performance by writing papers about their experiments and performance techniques.

In June, the Lab created a new Video Collage called Good Fortune Drinks Too Much, a hybrid dance, projection and spoken-word piece. This new work is about searching for a path to travel when road signs are not visible and guides are absent, while inevitably being forced to move forward, letting the beauty of the everyday surround and affect us deeply.

A male voice speaks. Paradoxically, his words act as a guide, the only guide, through a maze of rapid projections. We’re told, “Here is a man who has no fear, no worries. Then the world shifts, becomes gray, reception is interrupted, thoughts turn in circles then in on themselves. Here stands a man who is broken.”

A silhouette of a female dancer snakes in front of large white circle against a black backdrop, before a new scene interrupts with sexy, smoky black-and-white projections.

Interruptions are persistent in this piece, creating a kaleidoscope of cluttered and claustrophobic shapes and imagery. The screen flashes, juxtaposing the face of the man speaking (“Good Fortune has a very short attention span and Luck is smoking too much riding shot gun”) with a collection of jolting, jarring, electric visuals that overlap, engulf and highlight the woman’s silky movements.

We’re led to the end of the piece. “In the middle of the night, in the pouring rain, straight highway ahead of him, Good Fortune forgot his name, Luck was giving him the cold shoulder and he just drove into the darkness, into the unknown, into a truth … one is up, one is dark, both so fucking beautiful.” Abruptly, the projections cease, the scene flips, and the man and the woman are in each other’s arms, slow dancing.

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