(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Dance ensemble KEIGWIN + COMPANY will bring a mixed program of high art and pure entertainment, featuring a variety of diverse contemporary works that embody the company’s signature wit, broad musicality, and profound emotional capacity, to the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA on Saturday, April 11, at 8pm and Sunday, April 12, at 3pm, in a co-presentation with Jacob’s Pillow Dance. The program includes Waterfront, a full-company work danced to Leonard Bernstein’s score from the movie On the Waterfront; Boys, a male quartet danced to Eartha Kitt music; the world premiere of Panic, Larry Keigwin’s first new solo in more than ten years; and Triptych, supported by stark lighting and the pulsating beat of composer Jonathan Pratt’s original score.
KEIGWIN + COMPANY’s program at MASS MoCA promises to fulfill their reputation for engaging performances, and includes diverse works ranging in theme and emotional profundity. Six dancers will perform Waterfront, driven by selections from the dramatic film score of On the Waterfront, composed by Leonard Bernstein. Waterfront features the full company in fluid partnering, coupling, and unraveling in a multitude of sweeping wave-like patterns. Pedestrian movement mixes seamlessly with the dancers’ explosive virtuosity, while simultaneous and overlapping duets weave in and out of space to reveal brilliant moments of solo performance.
Utilizing highly athletic and vigorous movement, Boys features four male dancers in an exploration of the ever-evolving relationships between brothers. “The interpersonal dynamic is clear and engaging,” states The New York Times’s Brian Seibert, “the roughhousing is quick and light enough to suggest the rapid-fire dialogue of a 1930s film comedy.” The work is set to an iconic score of Eartha Kitt songs with classics such as “C’mon a My House” and “Easy to Love”, creating a playful repartee juxtaposed by moments of introspection.
The world premiere of Panic marks choreographer, founder, and artistic director Larry Keigwin’s first new solo in more than ten years; he will return to the stage after a three year hiatus from performing. Panic will investigate fear and anxiety imbued with Keigwin’s trademark theatricality. Composer Glen Fittin’s commissioned score includes Keigwin’s vocals, serving as an engine for an exploration of disquietude, punctuated by moments of calm.
The program will close with the electric Triptych, supported by stark lighting and the pulsating beat of composer Jonathan Pratt’s original score. Triptych is rooted in architectural themes and divided into three sections, exploring concepts of repetition, duration, and pattern. Outfitted in sleek and minimal black costumes, dancers perform precise, powerful movement imbued with technical prowess.
Founded in 2003 by artistic director Larry Keigwin and associate director Nicole Wolcott, KEIGWIN + COMPANY is known for its provocative and witty commentary on society and relationships, illustrated by an electrifying brand of contemporary dance. Since its inception, the company has received generous acknowledgement and support from multiple presenting organizations, including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Joyce Theater as well as foundations such as the New York Foundation for the Arts and The Jerome Robbins Foundation. Andrew Boynton of The New Yorker praises KEIGWIN + COMPANY for giving audiences “dances that show humor and drama in equal measure” and offering a rare accessibility through “engaging and involving spectators.”
“The Pillow builds audiences for dance year-round, and one of the ways in which we do that is through our partnership with MASS MoCA,” says Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff. “Audiences will be wowed by KEIGWIN + COMPANY’s unstoppable energy and style. Making this engagement extra-special, Artistic Director Larry Keigwin will return to the stage to perform a world premiere solo. A KEIGWIN + COMPANY performance is always invigorating.”
ABOUT LARRY KEIGWIN
Larry Keigwin started his performing career as a backup dancer on Club MTV’s Downtown Julie Brown, and has since gone on to worked with work with the pop band Fischerspooner, comedian Murray Hill, and as an associate choreographer for both The Radio City Rockettes and the Off-Broadway musical The Wild Party. Recognized in Dance Magazine’s annual “25 to Watch” list in 2004, Larry Keigwin has been described as “a parcel of pure explosive energy mediated by impressive technical skills” (Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times). In 2010, Keigwin was named Vail International Dance Festival’s first artist in residence.
Keigwin also created his own Keigwin Kabaret, a fusion of modern dance, vaudeville, and burlesque presented by the Public Theater at Joe’s Pub and by Symphony Space, and in 2010 staged Fashion’s Night Out: The Show, which featured over 150 of the industry’s top models and Vogue Magazine’s fall fashions. Known for combining pedestrian movement and themes with advanced techniques, Keigwin’s works explore the humorous and creative side of contemporary trends while remaining accessible and thought-provoking. Commissions include choreography for the Works & Process performing arts series at the Guggenheim Museum, The Juilliard School, New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, and the Martha Graham Dance Company, among many others.
Keigwin’s recent theatrical projects include choreography for the current Broadway production of If/Then starring Tony Award winner Idina Menzel; Tales of the City, starring Betty Buckley, at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco (2011); and the Off-Broadway production of Jonathan Larson’s RENT (2011).
Paul Taylor recently enlisted Keigwin to create a dance for Taylor’s new company, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance.
ABOUT KEIGWIN + COMPANY
KEIGWIN + COMPANY reaches national and international audiences and invigorates diverse communities with a refreshing vision of dance that embodies a theatrical sensibility of wit, style, and heart. The company’s community projects and education programs seek to engage audiences and dancers in movement and choreographic processes, allowing opportunities for individuals to become more invested in dance.
Since their debut performance at The Joyce Theater’s Joyce Soho, KEIGWIN + COMPANY has created 29 dances, including the acclaimed large-scale community project, Bolero, which has been commissioned in 11 communities across the country. Genre-crossing and boundary-breaking, Runaway (2008), the fashion-inspired choreographic ride, was proclaimed “a thrilling coup de theatre” by James Wolcott of Vanity Fair. KEIGWIN + COMPANY has presented performances throughout the globe and at various prestigious venues in the United States including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, New York City Center, The Joyce Theater, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (2003, 2008, and 2011).