Choreographer Joanna Haigood and Visual Artist Charles Trapolin explore present-day racism with this continuously running performance installation uniting dance and theater.
Taking its title from ethnic slurs, The Monkey and the Devil investigates the rise of a contemporary racism rooted in the lasting effects of America’s slave trade. Echoing an earlier time, today’s cultural figures unwittingly rehash old race-based arguments, updated for today’s eyes and ears. Two massive, rotating set pieces (twin halves of a room, designed by visual artist Charles Trapolin) represent this duality. Their opposition recalls Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” A century and a half later, still grappling with the artifacts of slavery, Americans struggle to re-unite a split house.