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By Kina Poon
“Ten years ago, I was most interested in just showing my work,” says NYC-based choreographer Larry Keigwin. “It was through the thrill of putting on the next show that the nuts and bolts of the company were formed. I had no clue it would be the way it is today.”
What began as Keigwin and four friends, including Keigwin + Company co-founder Nicole Wolcott, lugging his mattress to the Joyce SoHo a decade ago, is now a troupe that has earned national acclaim for Keigwin’s zany blend of pop and formalism. Whether headlining a dance festival, performing a site-specific work with 50 members of the local community, or dancing onstage at the Joyce (where the company performs its anniversary season Oct. 29–Nov. 3), Keigwin + Co is not afraid to make concert dance fun.
Part of the company’s appeal springs from its dynamic performers. “I’m drawn to magnetic personalities,” Keigwin says, when asked what he looks for in selecting dancers. “It’s trite to say, but I like the triple threat of wonderful facility, great performance quality, and someone who is copasetic with the group. They’re generating a lot of the vocabulary together, so they need to enjoy working with each other. And being good-looking doesn’t hurt!” he adds, laughing.
Keigwin, unfortunately, will not be dancing himself at the Joyce, which presents a program of what he calls, with a hint of good-natured self-mocking, the company’s “greatest hits.” Counting fashion shows and cabaret among his credits, the hypercreative dancemaker has recently been occupied with choreographing his first Broadway-bound show, now in tryouts in Washington, DC. The company also travels to the Modlin Center for the Arts in Richmond, VA, Oct. 2–5 and the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia next month.
What does he still hope to achieve with Keigwin + Co? In addition to a musical inspired and created by the company and making films of his works, he mentions more international touring, which would, perhaps, add to the existing 12 versions of his Bolero, a delightful hodgepodge for local participants. —Kina Poon
Photo: Matthew Baker and Ashley Browne of Keigwin + Company, by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy K+C