This Is My Playground

August 3, 2008

What I loved about watching Larry Keigwin dance last week is that I can feel his relish for what he’s doing. He doesn’t mug at the audience or “remember to smile.” He’s just dancing the dance he is closest to. It reminded me of when I was doing a solo concert many years ago, and to combat my own nervousness, I told myself, “Wendy, this is your playground. You made these movements so now just do them and enjoy it.” It’s not only the individual movements you create as a choreographer, it’s the environment—the space, the tone, the feeling, the place you enter into.

Keigwin has created a place of liberated silliness that almost disguises his true ingenuity. For me it works sporadically. But what works continually is watching Keigwin himself dance: I see that pleasure in the kinetic way he does those twisty, curly, springy movements. It’s just the natural thing for him to do, the natural channel to let his energy and imagination out.

When a dance is funny, it’s a great release for all of us, so I appreciate his choreography too. But if the humor falters—and lets face it, it’s hard to keep the jokes going, especially when your title is
(as an editor-nag, I don’t find lower-casing a title funny)—that is the thread that I follow: the relish, the this-is-my playground aspect of it.