L ī l ā (the cosmic play)


Dance/Live Music/Visual Theatre performance

What makes us to belong to a place? 

When do we embrace the existence of the Universe? 

L ī l ā (the cosmic play) is a Site Specific/Dance/Live Music/Visual theatre performance piece for mix audience inspired by Balinese Dance Theatre Rituals devised by Monica and Marion. L ī l ā means the cosmic play in ancient Indonesian; it is the name of the ritual evoking the universal existence of each of our lives. The performance invites the sense of divine in our life. It is a journey between cultures and faraway places as an inner journey and addresses the issue of migration between different cultures and different realms. 

It is a mysterious journey through ancient cultures and modern days. The dance, the visuals and the music want encourage the audience to connect with the experience of divine presences and magical playfulness.

This work focuses on the ritualistic aspect of performance and how to create choreography as a transcendent experience for the performers that can be then shared with the audience. I am interested in re-connecting choreographic development to its ritualistic function of catharsis and expression.

What we search as an artistic evolution is the happening of a “Metakinesis”: we see movement as creation of universal connections between performers and audience. Dance and Music communicate in a profound and sometime mysterious way by the medium of kinaesthetic sense and interactions. We aware that the kinaesthetic processes are connected with the metaphysical of all biological beings. 

 L ī l ā combines traditional music storytelling and dance inspired by Balinese traditions of music storytelling and dance. It does however explore and create ground breaking new work combining new choreography, original musical composition and storytelling mixing the ancient and modern looking at the timeless and ever turning cycle of life 


Monica De Ioanni (dance) & Marion Kenny (music) - 2014

Funding Credit: 

​Creative Scotland - International Research & Development 

​Dance Base National Centre For Dance, Edinburgh

My collaborator and musician Marion Kenny is charismatic live performer highly regarded multi-instrumentalist, master storyteller and inspirational trainer living in Edinburgh, Scotland. She plays concert flute, Balinese bamboo flute (Suling) Chinese harp (Guzheng), Rindig and piano. Marion has previously studied both music and dance in Bali and performed with the Glasgow Gamelan Orchestra. We have both collaborated together on a number of occasions. We had a great connection and understanding of each other’s artistic vision. http://www.marionkenny.moonfruit.com/


To develop the choreographic material of this piece we have been working with internalisation, questioning, and factorizing my experiences and research into Balinese dance. Searching how the choreographies and compositions of Balinese Dance can inform the dancer/choreographer now? Together with the musicians we focus on dancer/musician synergy (from the Balinese tradition).

The dance is composed by dance-music scores inspired by Balinese dance and Gamelan music, new movement and new music developed by using new choreographic techniques.

The physical/musical scores express specific personal and anthropological themes including: When I discovered the mystery of being alive and the sense of divine as a child; What makes me to belong to a place?; Rebellion against my own culture; Desire to escape; Desire of connection with other places and cultures; The discovering of the Universe.