Why I Choreograph: Larry Keigwin
I was the gotta dance kid. I was always moving. My earliest dance memory is dancing on my front lawn with abandon, performing choreographed routines for passing cars. Fast-forward 10 years to high school, and I became obsessed with “Club MTV," a dance show on the channel back when it played music videos. One day I took the Long Island Rail Road into Manhattan to audition and got my first paying dance job. I made my stage debut shortly after during a high school production of My Fair Lady. When I landed flat on my back during an unfortunate, overly eager hitch kick, it was clear I needed to start training.
During my time at Hofstra University, my love of movement was married with a fascination to create, make, express. I loved being in a studio with dancers and felt nourished by not only our collaborations, but by just being together, navigating life. Choreographing became a lens through which I could understand the world. It was at Hofstra where I choreographed 10th Floor, a work that explores my brother's struggle with mental illness, and the process allowed me to uncover a choreographic voice, while igniting my drive and fire to make dance.
That fire is continually stoked by working with dancers. When I start a piece, I often don't know what I'm going to create. I sometimes arrive with a kernel of an idea—about an observation of New Yorkers on a sidewalk, an aspect of a relationship, a documentary on ant colonies that had inspired a down-the-rabbit-hole spout of internet research. From there, playful exercises with my dancers will reveal a spark, a hook that provides a launching point. I am endlessly interested in unveiling dancers' unique personalities and idiosyncrasies. For me, choreographing a dance is putting the pieces together to create a whole, so often, I see myself as a dressmaker: The dancers help create the fabric, imbuing it with color and texture; I see the dress in its entirety and sew it together.
I started KEIGWIN + COMPANY only when I had created enough work to put on a show. That excitement to put together an evening with friends, co-conspirators, collaborators, was the original driving force. I still remember making our entrance from the fire escape because I wanted it to be different. As I embark on my second decade of making dances, I'm reminded of that kid dancing on the front lawn, and the sheer joy he took in sharing his passion.
Capezio, Bloch, So Dança, Gaynor Minden.
At the top of the line, dancers have plenty of quality footwear options to choose from, and in most metropolitan areas, stores to go try them on. But for many of North America's most economically disadvantaged dance students, there has often been just one option for purchasing footwear in person: Payless ShoeSource.
When Sonya Tayeh saw Moulin Rouge! for the first time, on opening night at a movie theater in Detroit, she remembers not only being inspired by the story, but noticing the way it was filmed.
"What struck me the most was the pace, and the erratic feeling it had," she says. The camera's quick shifts and angles reminded her of bodies in motion. "I was like, 'What is this movie? This is so insane and marvelous and excessive,' " she says. "And excessive is I think how I approach dance. I enjoy the challenge of swiftness, and the pushing of the body. I love piling on a lot of vocabulary and seeing what comes out."
Back when Robbie Fairchild graced the cover of the May 2018 issue of Dance Magazine, he mentioned an idea for a short dance film he was toying around with. That idea has now come to fruition: In This Life, starring Fairchild and directed by dance filmmaker Bat-Sheva Guez, is being screened at this year's Dance on Camera Festival.
While the film itself covers heavy material—specifically, how we deal with grief and loss—the making of it was anything but: "It was really weird to have so much fun filming a piece about grief!" Fairchild laughs. We caught up with him, Guez and Christopher Wheeldon (one of In This Life's five choreographers) to find out what went into creating the 11-minute short film.
When Hollywood needs to build a fantasy world populated with extraordinary creatures, they call Terry Notary.
The former gymnast and circus performer got his start in film in 2000 when Ron Howard asked him to teach the actors how to move like Whos for How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Notary has since served as a movement choreographer, stunt coordinator and performer via motion capture technology for everything from the Planet of the Apes series to The Hobbit trilogy, Avatar, Avengers: Endgame and this summer's The Lion King.
Since opening the Industry Dance Academy with his wife, Rhonda, and partners Maia and Richard Suckle, Notary also offers movement workshops for actors in Los Angeles.