Behind the scenes of Monkey Journey to the West

June 26, 2013 4:19:40 PM PDT
It's a tale of a mischievous monkey who goes on a magical journey with a monk and along the way encounters a cast of mystical characters, who we met during a recent dress rehearsal at Lincoln Center.

Monkey Journey to the West is based on the classic Chinese folktale journey to the west from 1592.

It's a stunning production, which combines music, martial arts and acrobatics with seamless animation.

"At times you're seeing the monkey on film, and then you are seeing him live, and somehow the transition between the two is absolutely brilliant," Lincoln Center Festival Director Nigel Redden said.

In this underwater scene, you get a up close look at traditional Chinese performance art.

The entire cast is from China. The show has already been a huge success in Paris and London.

Jamie Hewlett was the master of the visual side of things.

"It is similar to Lord of the rings, it's similar to star wars, it's similar to even has aspects of the magnificent seven," Hewlett said.

The director was able to take 100 chapters from the folktale and boil them down to just 9.

During the 110 minute performances you will see 10 minute scenes, all very different and equally powerful.

"Everything is three dimensional, you really feel like you're inside this real world, the monkey's world, really fantastic way of getting into this type of performance," Chen Shi-Zheng said.