Keigwin + Co. marks 10 years of dance with Annenberg Center show (Metro)November 22, 2013
By Shaun Brady
New Yorks Keigwin + Company arrives in Philadelphia this weekend following the close of its 10th anniversary season at Manhattans Joyce Theater. The occasion is not just a cause for celebration, according to founder Larry Keigwin, but evidence of the companys success and durability.
Its a huge landmark, Keigwin says. The company started in 2003 and weve been through several economic climates, so its kind of a case of survival of the fittest.
Keigwins own career echoes that same adaptability. The native New Yorker has worked in a wide variety of roles within the field of dance, choreographing the recent off-Broadway production of Rent and working with the Radio City Rockettes, creating a cabaret for Joes Pub and classical work for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
The program that Keigwin will present at the Annenberg Center this weekend will function as an unofficial retrospective of the companys first decade, featuring four Philly premieres that span its 10-year history. I would say its a variety show, Keigwin says. Theres love and romance and drama, theatricality, athleticism and entertainment.
The program includes Triptych, an abstract 2009 work set to an electronic score by composer Jonathan Melville Pratt, the companys first commissioned score; and Love Songs, a suite of six dances exploring different couples via the music of Aretha Franklin, Roy Orbison and Nina Simone. Keigwin explains, It takes an up close and personal look at three different types of relationship: independent, dependent and co-dependent. Each couple has their own highlight based on the mood of the songs.
It also reaches back to the work that inaugurated Keigwin + Company, the signature piece Mattress Suite. Originally a duo for Keigwin and then-collaborator Nicole Wolcott, the piece has expanded to a suite of six dances, all set on a mattress. As part of the 10th anniversary season, Keigwin encouraged fans to make their own mattress dances and share them via social media.
I felt like celebrating it 10 years later, Keigwin says, and coming full circle. It began with just one duet on a mattress that we pulled off of my bed, created in the living room of my tiny New York apartment. We were literally using the mattress as a springboard for creativity. Its a journey of sexual identity and awakening.
On the other end of the spectrum is the brand new piece Girls, featuring the companys three female dancers and set to music by Frank Sinatra that complements an earlier piece for male dancers (Boys, naturally). A looser, free-spirited dance, Keigwin calls the piece just a moment to be cheeky.
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