(Not) Sleeping with Dance in Mind

October 7, 2013

As you may have read in our October issue, Keigwin + Company is celebrating a big birthday this month. Surviving 10 years in the fast-paced NYC dance scene is no easy feat, and Larry Keigwin has done more than just stick around. He’s created work for not only his own troupe, but also for cabarets, New York Fashion Week, and a new Broadway-bound show. In anticipation of the company’s upcoming Joyce season (Oct. 29–Nov.3), Keigwin + Company has launched a series of YouTube videos called #ShareTheMattress. It’s a brilliant and fun campaign, calling on Keigwin’s signature work, Mattress Suite, which unofficially officially launched Keigwin + Company into the big leagues. Company members including Kile Hotchkiss, Matt Baker and Brandon Cournay, along with co-founders Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott can be seen tumbling on, under, and over their bedding. Even fashion celeb Austin Scarlett gets in on the action. Use the hashtag #ShareTheMattress to browse for new videos. And don’t forget to use it when posting your own mattress-based work to Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube—that’s part of the project, too.


Broadway’s Ryan Steele rumpling the sheets:


Keigwin isn’t the only artist, however, to take the act of sleeping to a new level. One of my favorite works is BodyVox’s film Case Studies from the Groat Center for Sleep Disorders, made in collaboration with Mitchell Rose. In the video, a couple seeks help to cure their restless nights, ultimately discovering the reason why they’re not sleeping well. Not only is the choreography compelling, but the comic genius of it all will keep you giggling the whole way through. And who could forget Sleep Study? In David Parson’s 1987 work, seven dancers in pajamas toss and turn, pile on top of one another, and tumble through a night of rest.

From BodyVox and Mitchell Rose:


The indie rock band Matt and Kim also took to the mattress in the music video for their song, “It’s Alright.” The video was choreographed by Tanisha Scott, who has worked with Jay-Z, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, and the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets dance team. Although the concept came from Matt (the group’s keyboardist), choreographer Scott helped push the duo out of their comfort zone. In contrast to Kim’s typical onstage antics, you won’t see too much booty shaking in this video. (OK, maybe just a little.)


Matt and Kim in their jammies: