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K+C is Thankful for…

KEIGWIN_JOYCE_Canvas

Photo by Matthew Murphy
Pictured: Jaclyn Walsh, Ashley Browne, Chalvar Monteiro, & Brandon Cournay

Thankful that we can dance whenever and wherever we want (and we do)

Most thankful that we all have our physical and mental health

Thankful for all the support and creative collaborations over the last 10 years

Thankful to be part of an incredible community of wildly talented artists

Thankful for the ability to teach and the ability to learn

Thankful for all the students who inspire

Thankful for the joy we experience when sharing our dance

Thankful for laughter

Thankful for the adventure of travel and connecting with new audiences

Thankful for the gifts we have been given and the future of creating

Thankful to be working with a team of people who understand responsibility and how to have fun

Thankful for the onstage mistakes that remind us how LIVE it is

Thankful for the NOW…

Thankful for you!

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#sharethemattress – Ashley Browne & Matt Baker

People often ask me, “how do you document a dance? Is it written down?” Certainly, in this day and age, video recording is an option, but one of the coolest things about concert dance is that the work is directly passed down through the kinetic memory of individuals. Each generation that is cast in a particular dance will leave their imprint on that dance and then teach it to the next generation.

In our latest #sharethemattress video, K+C dancers Ashley Browne and Matt Baker become the 2nd generation of “Mattress Suite” as taught by Nicole and myself. I feel like a proud parent – so happy with their daring and sensitive contribution. Be the first to see their imprint at The Joyce TheaterOct. 29 – Nov. 3rd. 

Larry Keigwin 
Artistic Director

Featuring Ashley Brown & Matt Baker; Music by Adam Crystal

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Laurel, K+C Family’s Youngest Star

Laurel Franchell…Where to even begin with Laurel?

Okay, you may know I started K+C with this incredibly talented and ambitious friend, Nicole Wolcott. We made a duet on a mattress, and, 10 years later, the collaboration and friendship still continues. As you might guess, Nicole got married to Jonathan Franchell, and they had a baby girl named Laurel. Here she is dancing on her mother’s bed. It’s as if she’s created the sequel to our signature work, “Mattress Suite.” Just watch this #sharethemattress video and you will quickly see how Laurel resembles her mother – sassy, smart, sly, and so fun.

Larry Keigwin

Artistic Director

Featuring Laurel Franchell with cameo by Nicole Wolcott; Music by Adam Crystal

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#sharethemattress – Gus Solomons Jr.

We all have champions in our lives – people who lift us up, people who believe in us and support us through good and bad. Gus Solomons Jr. is a champion of mine. After my first show, Gus gave me a glowing review, and it was the boost I needed to move forward. I am forever grateful for Gus’ guidance and amazing example as a Dancer, Director, Actor, Teacher, and Writer. I’m also thrilled he agreed to #sharethemattress with K+C for our 10th Anniversary. I will always remember shooting this video in his apartment on Broadway – it was a wonderful morning catching up and creating.

Larry Keigwin

Artistic Director

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#sharethemattress – Michael Trusnovec of Paul Taylor Dance Company

Right after graduation from college, I auditioned for The Paul Taylor Dance Company. I didn’t get the gig, but my friend Michael Trusnovec did. It’s been a joy watching him dance leading roles in Paul Taylor’s works ever since. If you haven’t seem him perform, you should treat yourself!

I have always admired Michael as a mover and occasionally found myself starstruck watching him at barre in ballet class. It’s great fun witnessing a dancer’s career grow, and Michael’s trajectory is truly inspiring. We’re grateful, at this moment in time, for the opportunity to take a peek into his private world in this stunning #sharethemattress video.

Larry Keigwin

Artistic Director

Featuring Michael Trusnovec appearing courtesy of Paul Taylor Dance Company ; Music by Adam Crystal

 

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#sharethemattress – Harper & Baby Colson

I’m constantly reminded how inspiring the K+C network is as our family continues to grow to include new (and younger) friends…

Denise Dickens, a college friend of mine from 20 years ago, recently introduced me to the most adorable pair – Harper Mates and her one-year-old son, Colson. Harper and Colson couldn’t be more charming – both are delightfully sweet and ready for an adventure at any moment. How could we not feature them in #sharethemattress?

Larry Keigwin
Artistic Director

Featuring Harper Mates & Baby Colson;  Music by Adam Crystal

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#sharethemattress – Ryan Steele

Every once in a while, you catch a performance that is absolutely riveting. About a year ago, I caught Ryan Steele’s kick-ass performance in the Broadway musical Newsies – his personality leapt off the stage.  

I get the impression that Ryan always gives 110%, and I was reminded of this when I recently saw Ryan grace the Broadway stage again with Matilda. It’s no wonder that he is also making his silver screen debut this week in Five Dances.  

I’m incredibly grateful that Ryan made time in his busy schedule to dance on his mattress with us for #sharethemattress. I invite you to participate in the #sharethemattress project too (learn more here), and read on for some inspiring words from Ryan, a A New Yorker for Dance.

Larry Keigwin

Artistic Director

Featuring Ryan Steele; Music by Adam Crystal

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Have you seen…


 
K+C Warm Up for 10th Anniversary Gala? 

Come Dance with KEIGWIN + COMPANY on Oct. 29. to celebrate TEN YEARS!  

Video by Kit McDaniel; Featuring Matthew Baker, Ashley Browne, Brandon Cournay, Kile Hotchkiss, Emily Schoen, Jacklyn Walsh; Music by Peter Jurado

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#sharethemattress – Matt Baker, Brandon Cournay, and Kile Hotchkiss

About 8 years ago, I made a male trio on my friends Kevin Scarpin, Todd Allen, and myself. Guess what? It was on a mattress! But only because there was a mattress in the studio already….and, to be honest, the studio was actually a garage in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
 
Years later, three uniquely talented dancers came into my life….three friends—three fierce, funny, fabulous (and foxy) friends—Matt Baker, Brandon Cournay, and Kile Hotchkiss. In this latest installment of #sharethemattress they recreate the magic of my first mattress trio. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do!


Larry Keigwin
Artistic Director

Photos by Whitney Browne; Featuring Matthew Baker, Brandon Cournay, & Kile Hotchkiss; Music by Adam Crystal

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VIDEO: #sharethemattress featuring Toby Lightman

Sometimes, spontaneous friendships can lead to the most fun collaborations. When my friend Shawn Mahoney sent me an impromptu invitation to go see musician Toby Lightman perform in a downtown club, I never guessed that I would be reacquainted with Toby years later as the star of a #sharethemattress video.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a delightful morning at Toby’s apartment on the Upper West Side collaborating on our newest installment of #sharethemattress. Not only did she dance like a rockstar, but she also gave us a sneak preview of one of her soon-to-be-released songs. I can’t think of a better way to share a morning than with song and dance.

I hope Toby’s playfulness shines through in this video and inspires you to indulge in a little spontaneous play as well.


Larry Keigwin
Artistic Director

Photos by Whitney Browne; Featuring Tobey Lightman; Music by Adam Crystal

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VIDEO: #sharethemattress featuring Austin Scarlett

One of the great pleasures of living in NYC is people watching. Every now and then, you discover a person in public who is hard to ignore. Austin Scarlett, with his unique sense of style and theatrical flair, is one of these gems. Sure, I’ve seen him out and about in NYC and on Bravo’s Project Runway, but he really made an impression on me when I sat next to him at a small dinner party. As you might expect, Austin is quick with clever conversation and a great storyteller.

Certainly all of this is captured in the fashions he creates, but I hope it is also here, in his #sharethemattress dance filmed in his own bedroom. In public and in private, Austin is an inspiration wherever he goes.


Larry Keigwin
Artistic Director

Photos by Whitney Browne; Music by Adam Crystal; Featuring Austin Scarlett

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#SHARETHEMATTRESS – A Video Project Celebrating 10 Years of K+C

Dear K+C family,

In celebration K+C’s 10th Anniversary, it feels appropriate to start where we began – with Nicole and I pulling the mattress off my bed and creating a duet…Now, here we are, TEN years later (me with a little less hair, and Nicole with a two-year old daughter) – and it feels wonderful to return to the dance, Mattress Suite, that originally cemented our friendship and collaboration.

In the spirit of this work, I am asking people who have been an inspiration to me through the years to create their own mattress dance and #sharethemattress in this special video series that will be released in the weeks leading up to our Joyce season.

And, if you feel inspired, I invite you to create your own #sharethemattress videos to share with us! Be playful, bounce around, express yourself and dance as if nobody is watching.

Post your videos to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube with the tag #sharethemattress so we can find, watch, and share.

I hope you can join us in celebrating our 10th anniversary at The Joyce Theater. I love the community that has come together around K+C over the last TEN years, and I can’t think of better way to share this joy than to dance.

Fondly,

Larry Keigwin, Artistic Director

Photos by Whitney Browne; Music by Adam Crystal; Featuring Nicole Wolcot + Larry Keigwin
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Vail International Dance Festival

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Green Box Arts Festival

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Santa Barbara: Where magic happens.

Written by: Brandon Cournay

March 10th, 2013

Rehearsal at the Lobero.

KEIGWIN + COMPANY‘s 10th Anniversary Season continued last month as we found ourselves in warmer weather, (yes, again!) when we embarked on a three-week residency in Santa Barbara provided by the incomparable DANCEworks. The uniqueness of DANCEworks is that they do not just provide space for us to create, but the space given to us is a theater. Creating in a theater is an absolute gift; you have the rare opportunity to craft your work in a space and utilize every tool the theater has to offer. The Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara is where the magic happens. K+C, having been in residence there in 2010, was fully aware of this priceless opportunity given to us and jumped right into work. Thanks to the Lobero, DANCEworks, a few rain curtains, and Larry’s guidance, magic happened.

Week 1

Girls.

Girls, a trio danced by K+C’s stunning female dancers, Ashley Browne, Emily Schoen, and Jaclyn Walsh, was the first piece Larry created while in Santa Barbara. Although, Girls can easily be considered the counterpart to the male quartet, Contact Sport, which Larry choreographed a year ago, Girls stands alone with its own uniqueness and inventiveness. Using four different colored rain curtains that serve as both a backdrop and prop, the girls weave in and out of them, play witty revealing tricks with the audience, and burst through the curtains leaving a shimmering impression on the stage.

Set to timeless Frank Sinatra music, the vibe of the piece is demur yet dignified, classy, and feminine. Choreographically, each of the girls shine in solo moments, which showcases the individuality of each dancer. That flavor is combined with intricate and challenging unison sections that radiates joyous energy. It’s imperative to note that Girls could not have been created without DANCEworks. Having access to the theater and being able to choreograph with the curtains every day was a pure artistic gift.

In the evenings, when the girls and Larry weren’t creating with curtains, they were dancing with members of the Santa Barbara community. After the smash hit of Bolero Santa Barbara during K+C’s previous residency, Larry was inspired to make a (first of its kind) music video staring the Santa Barbara community. After a week of rehearsals, Larry, Ashley, Emily, Jaclyn, and their  cast hit Santa Barbara hot spots like the County Courthouse, Dolphin Fountain, and the Lobero Theatre to shoot their music video. The video opened our show and was naturally titled, Showtime!

Click here and watch K+C’s Santa Barbara community music video… Showtime!

Week 2

Matt biking on the beach.

Matt, Aaron, Gary and myself were so pumped to fly out to join our female colleagues and see what they had been up to. After seeing Girls, we laughed, screamed with pride, and were more excited and inspired than ever to begin creating alongside them; the result being something unexpected and oh, so rewarding. We began our week with a playful dance phrase and ended it with a brand new creation, titled Seven. Set to “No Opera” by Manyfingers, Seven adds a new texture to our repertoire. The movement has unexpected breakouts of dynamic partnering, and a theme of community. Never leaving the stage, we join each other in unison dance phrases, weaving in and out of each other, not unlike a game of human Tetris. The piece is luscious, cyclical, and fulfilling.

After spending our days in the theater, we rallied up enough energy to enjoy so much of what Santa Barbara has to offer. We biked to the beach, took a Zumba class with the music video participants, and performed Love Songs at a DANCEworks fundraiser, Boogie Nights at the Oreana Winery.

Week 3

Diane Vapnek and Larry Keigwin have been friends for over 15 years

The beginning of our final week on the west coast began with a company barbeque to welcome the remainder of the K+C crew arriving for the residency. We were ecstatic to reunite again! After many laughs and lots of catching up, we got busy next morning, putting our program on its feet, which turned out to be one of the biggest in K+C history. We performed our largest works, 12 Chairs, Runaway, and Megalopolis, our Santa Barbara creations, Girls and Seven, as well as Contact Sport, which has been re-titled, Boys. The house was filled with fervent and cheering audiences of new friends and returning fans.

We are indebted to give an enormous THANK YOU to Dianne Vapnek for her continued support and love of KEIGWIN + COMPANY, and for providing us with this one of a kind opportunity, yet again. We would also like to show our gratitude to all of our friends who hosted and welcomed us into their homes for various events so graciously throughout our stay.

Watch this video of our time at DANCEworks. Video by David Bazemore!

Santa Barbara sunset.

Even though we have been avoiding the winter weather past few months, we are looking forward to sending some time at home in NYC! We are rehearsing and gearing up for shows this month in Queens, NY and creating a new Bolero at UNC Greensboro in North Carolina. And, stay tuned for more 10th Anniversary news and events as the year continues. We. Can’t. Wait!

NEXT UP: K+C IS PERFORMING AT QUEENS THEATRE IN THE PARK MARCH 23-24th.

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Mahalo, Hawaii.

February 6, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

Soaking up the Hawaiian sun pre-show.

Tours, Repertoire, Anniversaries… oh my! 2013 is off to an exhilarating start for KEIGWIN + COMPANY, and is gearing up to be one for the record books. We began the year as most dance companies do, getting ready for the annual APAP conference in New York City. APAP always feels like a happy dance reunion, and it was so exciting to share the stage and re-connect with some of the finest dancers and companies around. K+C presented the dazzling Twelve Chairs and Trio at Dance Gotham at the Skirball Center for Performing Arts and New York City Center’s studios.

Immediately after APAP, K+C embarked on a ridiculously awesome 10-day tour to Hawaii. We could not have been more excited to leave the cold winter weather behind and soak up some tropical sun. After our 14-hour travel day, we finally landed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the island of Maui. We were excited to get leid in the dark of the night when we arrived at our hotel, but the anticipation was killing us to be able to see Hawaii in the daylight! We awoke the next morning a bit jet-lagged, but eager to enjoy a day off playing on water slides and eating fresh papaya on an island that was nothing short of paradise.

Having the opportunity to travel the world and dance is one the biggest gifts we are bestowed with. We definitely do not take these amazing opportunities for granted, so we took advantage of everything Hawaii had to offer. We soaked up the sun, tasted the local flavors, snorkeled, paddle boarded, and successfully surfed. (Even though there some wicked awesome local children were showing us up).

K+C in Hawaii

Don’t get me wrong! Our island hopping adventures was not just all play and no work. When it came time to be in the theater, we were enthusiastic and focused. Larry had told us that this was the first time K+C has ever performed the same program consecutively on a single tour, and we were ready to rock the house. We performed a program of K+C classics, Caffeinated, Love Songs, Contact Sport, and Triptych.

We collectively traveled on seven airplanes, rented eight cars, stayed in twenty-one hotel rooms, taught three master classes to local dancers of all ages (lead by Larry and Gary), AND performed to sold out and enthusiastic crowds on three Hawaiian Islands. After our first show in Maui, we were greeting at the stage door by dozens of fans eagerly waiting for us to take photos with them and sign autographs. It was in that moment that we realized our presence in Hawaii was such a special success.  It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to share our work and connect with new fans and friends so far away from home.

Larry teaching class in Hawaii.

Our time in Hawaii was an experience we will never forget, personally and professionally. It had many highs and I would say, only one low…. When we left Ashley’s suitcase at the airport, oops! SORRY ASH.

Believe it or not, K+C wasn’t just taking over Hawaii this month. In addition to our APAP performances and tour of the islands, KEIGWIN + COMPANY’s repertory was being set  across the country. Runaway was being staged simultaneously at Elon University by Kit McDaniel as well as at Lindenwood University by Kile Hotchkiss. Aaron Carr was setting Air at Fieldston School in the Bronx, and I am currently setting Caffeinated at Southeast Missouri State University.

Kile Hotchkiss with the Cast of Runaway at Lindenwood University

Kit McDaniel with the Cast of Runaway at Elon University

January has set the pace for a busy and exciting year for the company. In addition to an anticipated season of creating, performing, and touring…

KEIGWIN + COMPANY is celebrating it’s 10th ANNIVERSARY!

Stay tuned and follow along for updates on upcoming celebrations, and special events to help us celebrate the past, present, and future of K+C.

Next up for KEIGWIN + COMPANY: We are returning to DANCEworks in Santa Barbara, CA for a creative residency and performances on February 9th – March 2nd. Click here for more info about the residency and tickets to the show!

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Bolero celebrates Chicago

September 4th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

For three weeks, Larry, Ashley Browne, and Gary Schaufeld led more than 60 eager local participants through the magic of creating Bolero Chicago. They immersed themselves into the Chicago culture by going to White Sox games, taking a boat tour on the Chicago river, and teaching master classes to dancers at local studios. But ultimately, their inspiration came from the participants and their stories.  ”Bolero captures one very distinct facet of the Festival: to invest in the future of dance by growing audiences. In the case of Bolero, this happens through participation,” Elysabeth Alfano wrote in The Huffington Post. Bolero highlighted the city’s infamous Loop transit system, the Chicago Bulls, and the hustle and bustle of this Midwestern metropolis.

Read Elysabeth’s article in the Huffington Post here..

From the inside, the sense of community created through the development of Bolero is just as rich as the performance itself. I was both excited and moved when reading this quote from an interview with participant Helen Hudson in the Chicago Tribune,  ”I love to dance, and, for anyone who does, this is a dream come true.” Check out the full article in the Chicago Tribune which includes a video of Larry in action during a rehearsal for Bolero.


Bolero Chicago. Photo: Cheryl Mann

Donned in red, white, and blue, the dancers of Bolero Chicago anchored the Chicago Dancing Festival performing in the opening celebration at the Harris Theatre as well as the closing night of the festival, under the stars, at the gorgeous Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park. Bolero celebrated the culture of Chicago, and shared the joy of dance with audiences both young and old.


Next up for KEIGWIN + COMPANY: Creative residency on Governor’s Island!

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A tour worth Olympic Gold. K+C at Bates Dance Festival

August 13th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

KEIGWIN + COMPANY finished up our exciting performance-filled summer this past weekend at Bates Dance Festival. After a quick flight and a scenic drive through Maine, K+C dancers reunited with Larry Keigwin, Nicole Wolcott, and Emily Schoen, who were already up at Bates, teaching and creating work with students at the festival. K+C has a long history with Bates. Larry and Nicole met while they were both students there, Larry is a former emerging choreographer at the festival, and this marks the second time K+C has been invited to perform at the festival. We were honored that our final show on Saturday was a Gala Performance to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Bates Dance Festival. K+C presented a dynamic and physical program which included TrioTriptychContact Sport, and Natural Selection.

Schaeffer Theatre at Bates Dance Festival

Throughout the week we rehearsed, presented an educational (and entertaining) lecture/demonstration, and took advantage of the amazing classes taught by the Bates Dance faculty. Our first day at Bates, all of K+C took Larry and Emily’s class. It was so physical and encouraging! Their positive energy was contagious. After jamming with their students, we then split up and explored the remainder of classes the diverse faculty had to offer. Inspiration and investigation was flowing freely with with so many teachers and students from around the world. We danced a ton!

Jackie warming up for Larry and Emily’s class.

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Between classes and rehearsals we worked hard, but we played hard as well. We took a trip to the beach, played a ton of games, and watched a ridiculous amount of Olympic gymnastics. (Congrats Gabby!)

K+C cups backstage.

Ashley and Emily at the beach.


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K+C also had a lot to celebrate. First of all, baby Laurel, Nicole’s daughter, got her first tooth and stood on her own for the first time! Laurel has become K+C’s biggest cheerleader, she watches us dance with bright eyes, and now claps right on cue when we are finished. We also celebrated Aaron Carr’s 25th birthday while we were at Bates! We had many birthday festivities including a great meal, an outdoor Tie-Dye party, and our evening ended by taking turns hitting a Unicorn pinata in our front yard.

Tie Dye Party!

New wardrobe.

Our week up at Bates definitely ended our busy summer on a high note. We were in the company of incredible dancers and choreographers, had a set of great performances, and got to live in a house all together. After the gala performance, K+C parted ways. Larry, Nicole, and Emily were left in an empty (and quiet) house, where they are staying to teach one more week at Bates and Gary and Ashley flew straight to Chicago to start the creation of Bolero Chicago!


Gary getting ready for the pinata!

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K+C has had an amazing summer. We look forward to the premiere of Bolero Chicago during the Chicago Dancing Festival on August 20th & 25th, as well as our residency on Governors Island this fall. Exciting things ahead!


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Summer fun! Bolero Red Bank

July 25th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

Gorgeous view from our housing.

Last weekend, KEIGWIN + COMPANY rocked it out on the Jersey Shore. We were performing at the beautiful Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ. K+C presented an action-packed evening of dance with works including Caffeinated, Love Songs, Triptych, and Contact Sport. Closing out the program was the premiere of Bolero Red Bank!

60 members of the Red Bank, New Jersey community (and a few pets) came together with Larry Keigwin and dancers, Gary Schaufeld and Jackie Walsh, every day for two weeks to create Bolero Red Bank. We sunbathed, danced with towels, and tossed beach balls to create the ultimate Bolero beach party.

Bolero is first and foremost about the community. Each Bolero is created to reflect everyone in the piece, and where they call home. The enthusiasm and buzz around Red Bank leading up to Bolero was both inspiring and electrifying.

Bolero props backstage.

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After the final dress rehearsal, we celebrated with a pizza party! While chatting with our youngest cast members (ages 5-13), I realized there are two ingredients that make Bolero magical for people of all ages–being on stage and making new friends. Our youngest dancers told me that they were super pumped to share the stage with their new Facebook friends!

For a peek inside the Bolero creative process, check out this awesome article in The Hub, written by Kristen Dalton.

K+C gives a huge shout out and thank you to everyone involved in Bolero! We are so excited to have made many new friends and had a blast dancing alongside the Red Bank community.

The cast of Bolero Red Bank

Next up for KEIGWIN + COMPANY at Bates Dance Festival in Maine. August 2nd – 4th.

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3-2-1. K+C Adventures

July 11th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

3 cities. 2 world premieres. 1 forest fire…

June 2012 is one that that will go down in the record books for KEIGIWN + COMPANY.

Our adventurous month began here in New York City where we performed seven shows at the Joyce Theater for full and enthusiastic audiences. Performing in New York is always such a thrill for us; we feed off of the energy from our hometown audience that is filled with friends, fans, and family. We also enjoyed engaging new fans and first-timers to a K+C show… some of which were spotted doing Megalopolis walks down 8th Avenue!

Joyce 2012

The eagerly anticipated K+C world premieres, Twelve Chairs and Contact Sport, were met with celebrated reviews and responses. We rounded out the program with the beautifully cyclical Trio, and audience favorite, Megalopolis.

Read some of our reviews from the Joyce season here: The New Yorker and Off Off Off Dance.

It was a quick turnaround after our closing night at the Joyce. We went home, packed our bags, and reunited the next morning to travel to North Carolina for American Dance Festival. We enjoyed six sunny, summer days at ADF.

Nicole and Laurel at the pool.

We unwound at the pool, took amazing classes, and made friends with dancers from Scottish Dance Theatre, who invited us to watch their rehearsal.

At ADF, we presented all four works from the Joyce program, as well as Natural Selection, which was commissioned by and premiered at ADF in 2004. Natural Selection is physical, raw, and hasn’t been performed since 2009. It was so fun remounting Natural Selection and watching it grow on the company.

After ADF, we headed off to our eagerly anticipated residency at Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. K+C was pumped for outdoor rehearsals, nature, and family style dinners. Unfortunately, our residency was cut short because of the Waldo Canyon Wildfire that ignited during our second day there.

Waldo Canyon Fire

K+C evacuating!

Unpredictably, we were forced to evacuate, so K+C retreated to Vail to escape the danger. Although the K+C Colorado residency didn’t go exactly as we had planned, our spontaneous trip to Vail was an unbelievable adventure that was shared and cherished by dear friends. We were treated with wonderful care, enjoyed the scenery of the Rockies, went to the Vail International Music Festival, AND still had rehearsal!

K+C on Vail Mountain.

We thank everyone in Green Mountain Falls and Vail for the hospitality and care provided for us. Devastatingly, many homes and lives have been lost in the Colorado wildfires and our sincere condolences go out to everyone affected.

K+C is grateful to be back home in NYC, safe and sound. We are back in rehearsals gearing up for our performances next week in Red Bank, New Jersey. Looking for a quick getaway from the city? Next Friday, July 19th and Saturday, July 20th we will be performing K+C favorites as well the world premiere of Bolero Red Bank more than 50 community members. Come join us! For ticket and program info, click here.

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Fantastic Firsts for K+C

June 7th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

The Cowles Center season program

The past few weeks have been jam packed with lots of firsts for KEIGWIN + COMPANY.

We had so much fun performing and making new friends on the company’s first ever tour to Minneapolis. K+C was thrilled and honored to be the first out of town company to perform in the gorgeous and brand new, Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts. We danced an eclectic mix of K+C repertory, as well previewed 12 Chairs for a new audience. As the curtain went up, revealing our newest creation for the first time, we were collectively nervous, eager, and buzzing with anticipation. We were given a wondrous and gratifying response.

Newspaper in Minneapolis

Prior to our trip to Minneapolis, K+C held our first ever summer intensive, Let’s Make A Dance. We spent an intense and inspiring week at the Juilliard School with students from all across the country. We began each day with a group warm up, followed by repertoire and partnering classes led by K+C dancers. The students were then introduced to Larry Keigwin’s creative games.

Led by Larry and Nicole, the students began collaborating and generating pools of material and phrase work, just as he does with the company. The week concluded in a studio showing featuring the two dances Larry choreographed on the students using everything they had created together.

It was so exciting to see the growth and progress made by the students in just one short week. The energy during Let’s Make A Dance was contagious. The company definitely walked away proud and inspired.

Students of Kco's Let's Make A Dance Summer Intensive

Now, we are looking forward to the future. In less than one week, we open at The Joyce Theater. We have an amazing program lined up with an audience favorite, Megalopolis, the beautiful Trio, and the WORLD PREMIERS of Contact Sport and 12 Chairs……This is a show you will not want to miss.

See you at the Joyce!

KEIGWIN + COMPANY will be at the Joyce all next week. June 12th-17th.

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Rehearsal Notes From Larry: Part 3

JUNE 5, 2012

By: Larry Keigwin

What? Really? Opening night is just one week away and with two world premieres, you can guess I’m not sleeping much.

I love putting the final touches on the dance, it really is the icing on the cake. This past weekend we had a sneak preview of 12 Chairs in Minneapolis at the new Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, where we had the chance to add those final ingredients — costumes, lights, action, and attitude. We loved test driving the work for the fantastic audiences in Minnesota and can’t wait to share it with you next week. I couldn’t be happier with how the new dances have developed and the company has never looked better.

Here are five more fabulous reasons to join us at The Joyce Theater next week on June 12-17th.

1. Be the first to see 2 World Premieres.

2. Listen to two completely new pieces of music, one by Jonathan Pratt and one by Adam Crystal.

2. Watch 12 incredible dancers strutting their stuff.

4. Because it’s summer and it’s a night out. (P.S. It’s only one hour long, no intermission, and it’s air-conditioned).

5. Be a part of the discussion – have a thought provoking conversation with your friends, share your opinions, What did you like? What didn’t you like? What did it mean and how did you feel?

There’s a seat waiting for you at the Joyce….

SLEEP CAN WAIT…GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

pics by Whitney Browne and Matthew Murphy


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Rehearsal Notes from Larry: Part 2

KICK OFF your summer with KEIGWIN

You know it’s summer when you see seersucker suits and iced coffees on the street. I am always surprised by the unexpected moments of inspiration I often find on the streets of New York. While recently walking around the city, I discovered some costume ideas for our new work Twelve Chairs.  Speaking of walking, I’m happy to have ditched the crutches and boot. Being a pedestrian again feels so great, as does the inspiration that comes with it.  Here are a few pictures I took along the way:

I love these dresses I saw late one night on the UES, but realized later they would be impossible to dance in.

Speaking of costumes – here is a sketch of a few costumes that costume designer Liz Prince is working on for Trio (formerly Balloon Dance).

And if what Liz makes doesn’t work out, I thought I would get these great white shirts. I might get them anyway.

Say goodbye to the boot and crutches. Just in time for the speedo.

This is what happens when you spend too much time in your apartment unable to walk. Kiss those days goodbye! I’m up and about enjoying the first days of summer and ready to rock it at The Joyce Theater on June 12 -17th.

See you there,

Larry


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The Dancer Perspective: Twelve Chairs. Part 3

May 24th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

Week one of rehearsal: “Alright, you guys! Let’s go to position one,” Larry says. We stand up, leave the chair we were just working with, find a new one, and go to position one.

Week four of rehearsal: “Alright, you guys! Let’s go to position one,” Larry says. With ownership, we swiftly cling to the chair we have been working in. We now carry and bring it with us to position one.

Our chair has truly become an extension of our dancing selves. We’ve built such a relationship with these chairs, that leaving your own personal chair just doesn’t seem right. “I felt like I was meeting a new partner for the first time. At this point, I feel comfortable just throwing myself into it,” Kile’s statement reminds me of when Larry tells us to, “Partner your prop!”

Over the past four weeks, Twelve Chairs has evolved from just a single exploratory task to a rich, layered, and compelling work.  After our final sketch was complete, I asked dancers Ashley Browne and Kile Hotchkiss their thoughts on the process from beginning to end. “I did not expect the piece to look like this at all! Out of all the work Larry has created, this has the most focus of intention,” Ashley says.

Kile notes that, “Now that we are looking at the movement more specifically, Larry had brought up the idea of letting the design lead the piece, rather than layering the intention over top of the movement.”

Twelve Chairs adds a fresh vigor to the K + C repertoire. Within the three distinct sections, this piece has plenty of generously striking movement, but subtleties as well.  Kile pulls images from our process as inspiration, “We started out with waiting room ideas, then images of band practice, then this deep idea of a mental institution.”

Putting the finishing touches on the piece has brought up a lot of discussion of personality. Ashley says. “It’s casual. You can be casual with the movement, but there is an orderly fashion about it… We are now trying to find a universal language.”

This past week KEIGWIN + COMPANY concluded the creative process for Twelve Chairs the same way it began, with endless possibilities. While working on the final moment of the piece, Larry Keigwin was having us sit, stand, fall, and face a different directions. What will be the final picture? You’ll have to come to find out!

This process has been challenging in the best ways possible, and the hard work can definitely be seen in the result. I have never been more excited to perform a piece. In just three short weeks, Twelve Chairs will make its debut. Don’t miss out on this exciting new work!

Once again, I asked my colleagues to describe the creative process in one word.

“Particular.” – Ashley Browne “Anticipation.” – Kile Hotchkiss

Check out the premiere of Twelve Chairs at The Joyce Theater, June 12-17.

Photos by Whitney Browne

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Rehearsal Notes From Larry: Pt.1

Hi Friends,

I am back in New York and although I’m frustrated by my Achilles tendon rupture, I couldn’t be more excited about the new dance we are creating…. and what a coincidence it’s a chair dance. I know what you are thinking — does everyone have to have a chair dance? Well, I swear ours is different, think 12 chairs and dancers moving in kaleidoscopic patterns to an original score by Jonathan Pratt, inspired by marching bands.

I’m loving the collaborative process and I invite you to follow us during this creative journey – there is plenty of laughter along the way.  Here are some of my favorite moments in the studio.

A short little phrase that Nicole and I made up – don’t you like my boot?

Trial & Error – somethings don’t go according to planned, in this case – error.

Some of our most inspired moments come from improvising – yikes.

People always ask – how do you remember all the steps – well it’s very clear, we speak in code. This is a must watch.

“Okay we canceled sprinkles, we go to chaos, here we are in transition.”

I imagine that some of the ideas of Twelve Chairs will be influenced by the recovery of my injury and hopefully, I’ll lose that boot by opening night…only four weeks away.

Stay Tuned,

Larry

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The Dancer Perspective: Twelve Chairs: Part 2

May 8th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

Orbit. Fall on 6. Heaven. Knee down. Chaos. Wave.


Say any of these words around a KEIGWIN + COMPANY dancer this week, and we will jump right into action. We are in the heart of our creation process for Twelve Chairs and as new sections are added, Larry Keigwin grants them with an eternal name. Gary Schaufeld, Justin Dominic, Kit McDaniel, and I begin our round table conversation smiling about rehearsal yesterday. Inspired by a spontaneous outburst of Aaron Copeland music that came on iTunes shuffle during our warm up, our latest section is now called, Rodeo.

In the studio, we have shifted focus into developing more daring and physical creative material. We have explored elements of partnering, manipulating, and shifting our chairs with dynamics and impulsiveness. Gary references the progression of our creative assignments given by Larry, “I think we explored all of the possibilities we could do with the chair. So now, you can really go back and pick apart the information you found. As this piece has evolved we started getting more specific tasks. We did a phrase where our leg couldn’t leave the chair.”

Justin notes that during the past two weeks, “Our tasks have been to get up off the chair more. The movement has gotten to a very physical place. It’s a whole new level of game play, it’s making us sweat!”

Inspiration is flowing from everywhere. We reference everything from pedestrian movement to striking dance phrases. Kit says, “I find when I’m outside of rehearsal, sitting in chairs, or even on the subway, I am constantly thinking of new ways to sit.”

As a dancer, it is always so invigorating to dance to original music. Twelve Chairs is set to a brand new score by electronic composer, Jonathan Pratt. Justin refers to the music as “unpredictable.” The score is dazzling, it fuses together the sounds of a drum line and brass band with a luscious, cyclical midsection that never loses its constant energetic rhythm and beat.

Gary describes the music as being a soundscape for the piece, “We explored the movement independent from the music and Larry is now finding places to link it up and dive into certain pools of ideas with the score.”

Looking ahead, we are eager to complete and put the finishing touches on Twelve Chairs. “We are now able to develop our intention behind the work. You can now think about your mood and personality,” Kit said.

This has been such a stimulating creative process for the company. We are constantly putting our heads together, to understand our new enhanced movement with the chair.  Justin said, “With the 12 chairs, each of us has gone to a different part of the space in the chair, we’ve moved it around, put it in different places, stepped on it. So, this chair kind of has it’s own little history that is building with us. “

To conclude, I again asked the dancers to describe the creative process in one word.

“Exploratory.” – Gary   “Giddy.” –Kit   “Jigsaw” –Justin

Twelve Chairs will be making its world premiere during KEIGWIN + COMPANY’s season at The Joyce Theater, June 12th- 17th, 2012

Click here purchase tickets today.

photos by Whitney Browne

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The Dancer Perspective: Twelve Chairs: Part 1

April 25th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

Twelve eager KEIGWIN + COMPANY dancers walked into an empty studio with twelve black folding chairs staring back at them. With excitement and fervor, we all took a seat and quickly began falling, folding, jumping, and sliding with our chair. We quickly realized the possibilities were endless…

For the past two weeks, K+C has been having a BLAST working in the studio. We have begun the creative process for our newest, largest, and most ambitious endeavor yet, Twelve Chairs. I recently sat down with dancers, Matthew Baker, Emily Schoen, and Jaclyn Walsh to discuss the inner workings of our creation and to give you, our audience, a sneak peek of what’s brewing inside the studio!

The beginnings of any creative process with Larry Keigwin always starts with playtime accompanied by lots of experiments and laughter.

This was very eminent when we played a game of Round Robin. With Nicole Wolcott acting as resident DJ, picking a song at random for every dancer, and Larry giving us adjectives such as crumble, smooth, or rocking; one at a time, all twelve of us improvised with an empty chair, surrounded by our circle of peers. Individuality was shining and Jaclyn was definitely inspired by the choreographic outcomes from this game, “I think there are definitely more options having more voices and bodies within the room.”

One of the most exciting elements of this piece isn’t just the chairs, but the dancers themselves. Unlike our other larger works, Runaway and Megalopolis, which were commissioned at The Juilliard School, this is largest creation made specifically on K + C. “There is a lot more collaborative teamwork involved versus creating a small work. We rely on each other a lot more as a group,” Emily said. Together, using everyone’s individual strengths, we are creating a brand new vocabulary of movement.

Jaclyn says her favorite part of the process thus far is when Larry gives a section a official name. “…It’s like learning a piece within a piece. Ten years down the road, we will still be referring to certain sections of Twelve Chairs because of the spontaneous name it was given. The creation process is so fun! This week we have, ‘Michael Jackson,’ ‘salt and pepper,’ ‘wave,’ and ‘position one.’”

Matt hits a great point, “Everybody has their chair, one dancer with their own chair. We are definitely not setting a familiar scene.” Rather than creating a setting, where the chairs are merely props, we are using the chairs to enhance our movement, as if they are an extension of our dancing bodies. We move in kaleidoscopic patters creating shape and texture with developing vocabulary. Using the chairs has been an exciting challenge for us, adding a certain level of risk and vigor to the piece. “It’s like working with another body. So, essentially it’s like there are 24 people in the room.” Jackie says.

To conclude, I asked the dancers to describe the creative process over the past two weeks in one word:

“Adaptability.” –Matt  “Eclectic.” –Jaclyn  “Openness.” –Emily

Over the next few weeks, check back for more blogs and discussions to get the inside scoop of our journey during the creation of Twelve Chairs. We couldn’t be more excited to share this new work!

For a sneak peek at K+C dancers using our chairs in action, CLICK HERE

Shot by the brilliant, Nel Shelby and be our own Larry Keigwin and Kit McDaniel.

The premiere of Twelve Chairs will take place during KEIGWIN + COMPANY’s run at the Joyce Theater. June 12th -17th 2012.

Follow our adventures and ask us questions on Twitter! #KcoJoyce

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Tour Travels: K+C on the road

April 12th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

The hustle and bustle of traveling may be a burden to some, but not for KEIGWIN + COMPANY. We absolutely love touring, and we are always so thankful for our adventures! One of the biggest advantages of being a performer is getting to travel on tour to places we typically wouldn’t find ourselves in. We are fortunate enough to experience different cultures, and share our craft with new audiences. Over the past two weekends, K+C has been on the road dancing up a storm in Asheville, North Carolina and Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Our favorite mural in Ashveille. Dedicated to Merce Cunningham and John Cage.

Asheville is a gorgeous town in the mountainous region of Western North Carolina. This town is filled with tons of cute shops, amazing restaurants, and a rich artistic community. Walking around Asheville is comparable to walking around a citywide arts installation. Our adventures began by checking out all of the murals painted on the buildings, but quickly turned into a scavenger hunt to find the K+C flyers that were plastered throughout the city! We also enjoyed a delicious brunch at the Biltmore, America’s largest home, which was definitely a highlight of the trip.

K+C brunches at the Biltmore.

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A huge thank you to the Diana Wortham Theater for their hospitality and generous support!

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K+C posters throughout Asheville

Our journey to Shepherdstown began by splitting into cars and taking a K+C road trip! We listened to new playlists, played car games, had lots of laughs, and enjoyed a gorgeous drive through the mountains. Although our time in West Virginia was shorter than our prior trip, we really enjoyed the local culture and scenery.

K+C road trip

Not only did we enjoy dancing, we had the honor of teaching as well. K+C dancers Jaclyn Walsh and Ashley Browne taught master classes in both Asheville and Shepherdstown inspiring the next generation of dancers and sharing the K+C spirit inside the studio.

Caffeinated

Contact Sport. Photo Credit: Jackie Walsh

A highlight of our tour was previewing our latest creation, Contact Sport, a physical and endearing piece that brings new energy to K+C.  With the incredible support of our fellow K+C female dancers watching in the wings, us boys shook off our opening night nerves, and took to the stage.



Contact Sport. Photo credit: Jackie Walsh

The audiences reacted with energized applause, and in true Keigwin spirit, a few laughs. Their heartfelt reaction was both exhilarating and encouraging. Our performances of Contact Sport seemed to become tighter, more stimulating, and comfortable the more we performed it. Contact Sport will premiere in June at The Joyce Theater

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Personally, I love these adventures that bring us outside of New York City. I feel like touring grounds me a bit. It gets me excited to come back to the city, and puts the smaller things into perspective. I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see the magnificent skyline upon our return.

When I come back to New York, I feel energized, excited, and thankful.  I can speak on behalf of the entire company on that. We are SUPER pumped for the next few months. Next week, will all be back together in the studio to begin the creation of our newest work…

12 dancers + chairs + brand new music = Keigwin Creation.

GET EXCITED!


Next stop for KEIGWIN + COMPANY: May 31st – June 3rd at the Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts in Minneapolis, MN.

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Sneak peek! Dance for 4.

March 22, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

Since our thrilling adventure and performances at the Kennedy Center, KEIGWIN + COMPANY has been hard at work in the studio creating our first new work of the year.

German chemist and scholar Ernst Fischer is famously quoted for saying, “I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.” Larry Keigwin is spot on with that quote regarding his newest dance, Contact Sport, a quartet involving four of the company’s male dancers. Larry’s brothers served as inspiration for his newest piece that is physical, comical, raw, and playful. “Contact Sport is a collage of many things that I love. The title that I love, the music that I love, and the siblings that I love,” Larry notes.

After rehearsal last week, dancers Matthew Baker, Aaron Carr, Gary Schaufeld, and myself sat down for a roundtable discussion about our inspirations and interpretations of this new work, onstage and off.

Our conversation began with a glimpse of nostalgia, discussing our most vivid childhood memories. Matt speaks of taking road trips with his family, Gary recalls accidentally locking himself into a room, Aaron reminisces about the tire swing in his back yard, and I recall introducing myself as Dorothy and singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ every opportunity I could get. Gary brought up a good point by saying, “We are always teaching and exposing each other to different things… There is definitely a feel of male camaraderie (in the piece).”

Larry has extraordinary skill for excavating and showcasing the individual in his works. Matt hits our creative process on the nose, “Our real relationships have influenced the work.” Lead by Larry’s talents, we quickly realize that our offstage friendship and bond has influenced our onstage personas. Larry acknowledged the brotherly love by saying, “…It’s a blend between the personalities of my brothers and of you guys and how you react.”

For example, one day before rehearsal, Aaron and I just started playing superman; that super awesome game of balancing another’s hips on your feet and flying. You know you’ve done it… and loved it! We were nonchalantly laughing, playing, and goofing around, and then next thing you know, an entire phrase is being created based off of that moment. Choreographically, Contact Sport references all of the things brothers do when they are growing up; wrestling, tag, wet willies, and red rover.

We react and sometimes encourage the natural masculine competitiveness that comes into play, but what is making this piece substantial is the bond and underlying support you see come alive. Aaron references the nature of the piece by saying, “It feels like we are out back… playing on the ropes course… waiting for dinner to be ready.” Throughout the piece, we often find ourselves shoulder-to-shoulder as if we are posing for family photos.

“…Learning about the personas, letting the audience have a chance to get comfortable with the people they are seeing. The things that are instant for us as friends. That’s what I want the audience to see and relate to. The bro-ness, the camaraderie ,” Matt says.

Family and friends is something we can all relate to. And, relate you will. We are individually pulling from our own experiences, but together creating new ones; ones we hope to share with you.

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.

~Marc Brown

Contact Sport will be previewed on our Next Stop for KEIGWIN + COMPANY: March 30th – April 4th at the Diana Wortham Theatre – Asheville, North Carolina.

photo credit : Matthew Murphy

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#KeigwinKenCen

March 6th, 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

Last week was as an exhilarating one for KEIGWIN + COMPANY. We were hard at work in three cities throughout the world. In New York City, K+C was busy fine-tuning our program for the Kennedy Center; Larry Keigwin was in Auckland, New Zealand, putting the finishing touches on his creation for the Royal New Zealand Ballet; and we were all buzzing with anticipation for our rendezvous in Washington DC. Our third trip to the Kennedy Center, was our biggest and best yet. We performed two sold-out shows of Keigwin classics; Megalopolis, Mattress Suite, Love Songs, and Runaway, that brought the audiences to their feet at the gorgeous Eisenhower Theatre.

Here is an inside look of our cross continental journey.

New York CityIn the studio.

K+C was eager and efficient in our final rehearsals leading up to our tour. A highlight of the week was when costume designer Fritz Masten came in with supped up Megalopolis costumes.

Brandon Cournay, Emily Schoen, and Jaclyn Walsh in Megalopolis costumes.

Nicole Wolcott takes notes while the men rehearse their trio in Mattress Suite.

Do you ever wonder what happens behind the mattress? Aaron Carr, Matthew Baker, and Gary Schaufeld catch a much deserved breath as Ashley Browne rehearses her final solo “At Last” in Mattress Suite.

Aukland, New Zealand A world premiere.

Larry Keigwin’s new creation for the Royal New Zealand Ballet was a huge hit and premiered to rave reviews in Aukland.

RNZB Poster

Roxanne de Bruyn described Final Dress as, “…A distinctly contemporary ballet, it adds some depth to the programme with layered themes. Fluid and physically demanding, it creates spatial boundaries as well as emotional ones and is quite voyeuristic, allowing us furtive peeks of private moments. It is dynamic, interesting and intricate and fits the company well. It is   also the clear favourite of the audience.”

Check out more reviews of Final Dress here:

Theatre Review New ZealandThread Culture ReviewVOXY -

Washington, DC#KeigwinKenCen

Eisenhower Theatre Marquee

K+C wasn’t just rock stars on stage, but off as well. This trip certainly brought us closer as a group. Collectively, we were fierce and focused. We enjoyed reconnecting with friends and family of K+C in Washington DC, as well as creating new relationships. We owe a big thank you and shout out to Lars Etzkorn & Gregory Hoss who hosted a post show celebratory party with K+C dancers and Board Members at their beautiful home.

Travel day

 

Gary Schaufeld, Matthew Baker, and Kile Hotchkiss on the train to DC.

K+C arrives at the Kennedy Center.

Notes on stage.

Baby Laurel's debut at the Kennedy Center.

K+C on stage at the Eisenhower Theatre.

Pre-show warm up.

...and that's a wrap! Final bow with Larry and Nicole.

K+C is honored and grateful to have had such an exciting week. We are currently back in NYC in creation mode for the premier of a new men’s quartet. Stay tuned!

Next stop for KEIGWIN + COMPANY: March 30th – April 4th at the Diana Wortham Theatre – Ashville, North Carolina.

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The blog is back! K+C hits the ground running in 2012

February, 12th 2012

Written by: Brandon Cournay

…And we’re back!

Friends, family, and followers of KEIGWIN + COMPANY, I am proud to announce that after a brief hiatus, our blog is back in action. We want to share all the exciting happenings with the company and give you an inside look at what makes K+C so unique. Follow us on our journey this season as we travel across the country, create in the studio, and share the incredible talent of K+C with both new audiences and current fans alike.

Not only have we renewed our way of sharing with you on our blog, we also have a new blog writer. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you. I am Brandon Cournay, Detroit native, K+C dancer, and the source behind everything on our blogosphere.

I first met and worked with Larry Keigwin during my senior year at Juilliard, when he created Runaway on my class. I was immediately drawn to his dynamic movement and found his creative process both inspiring and invigorating. I was thrilled to join KEIGWIN + COMPANY in May, 2011, and have had a blast creating, learning, and dancing with this talented and eclectic company.

2012 has already been an exciting year for K+C:

  • We hit the ground running with performances as a part of the first FOCUS Dance Festival at The Joyce Theater, as well as a showcase at New York City Center’s studios during the APAP conference here in NYC.
  • Our first tour of the year took us to Atlanta, GA for the very first time. The company performed the audience favorite Love Songs as part of the inaugural Off the Edge Dance Festival.
  • Larry Keigwin is currently in New Zealand creating a new work with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Dancer Aaron Carr joined Larry in New Zealand to assist him on the creation. Although they have been so far away, they have kept us updated throughout the process and it’s been so great to see the work come together. Final Dress will premiere at The Civic in Auckland, New Zealand on February 29th.
  • K+C repertory is being showcased here in New York City throughout the spring. Dancer Ashley Browne taught The Steps Repertory Ensemble Air, which will be performed later this season, and the students of Marymount Manhattan’s dance program have just begun rehearsals for Runaway with Matthew Baker.

Continue checking the blog for an exclusive and up-to-date look at all of our current endeavors. I will be blogging about our adventures on tour, as well as from the studio, giving you an inside look at K+C’s three new creations for this season.

Next stop for KEIGWIN + COMPANY: March 2nd and 3rd at The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.


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2011 Summer Snapshots: Notes from Tour – Vineyard Arts Project

Dear _______,

LABOR DAY

Left to right: Larry Keigwin, Matt Baker, Kristina Hanna, Nicole Wolcott, Gary Schaufeld, Jackie Walsh

As I write from this comfortable porch chair sipping a cold beer my colleagues are running around the great lawn, engaged in our rather acrobatic version of Frisbee with writers who are also in residency here at Vineyard Arts Project.  The sky is slowly changing in hue as dusk sleepily arrives, enveloping everyone in purple blue periwinkle light.  It’s the kind of scene that feels suspended somehow, like it can’t be bothered with the obligations of time or our ambitious every day to-do lists.  We are all full of hotdogs and hamburgers, barbeque potato chips and homemade coleslaw, beverages of every kind and even a chocolate molten cake over pears that Sevan, one of the writers here, has made for us.  After a day of individual pursuits around the island, shopping in town and sampling the homemade ice cream, biking to the beach and sunning on the shore, reading in private quiet nooks of our houses, the act of coming together to eat and play and share has provided us with another kind of nourishment, simple and elegant and clear on every face I see…plain contentment.

So often we write to tell you about all the things we are busy getting done.  A sense of urgency is a characteristic necessity in our field.  Just recently, Matthew and I sat on a panel that included many distinguished administrators and creators in dance, where one of the main creative concerns articulated was the dire need for available and affordable rehearsal space.  It can sometimes feel like we are racing against time and the practical constraints of our material world.  Whether it’s trying to finish a polished new work in time for a world premiere or setting an established evening length repertory piece on an entirely new cast, we usually have a small window of time to accomplish impressive goals.  It’s the rare occasion where the artist has the chance to imagine, work, explore, and create unhindered.  We do not, after all, live in a vacuum, but this week on Martha’s Vineyard afforded us with perhaps the closest thing to that feeling: sweeping landscapes, endless ocean shorelines, lofty sunlit rehearsal spaces, and two enormous houses that somehow managed to pull off that clean cozy feeling in a way that only the Cape Cod style can do.  It wasn’t picturesque.  It was perfect.  We did, however, get a lot done.  By the end of the week, we had finished learning all of Elements (an hour and a half long program) for our fall tours and had started creating a new piece titled Balloon Dance, set to music written by Adam Crystal who accompanied to the Vineyard.  It’s deeply satisfying knowing that we have managed to do both, to draw from the well and replenish it simultaneously.

The daylight has fully faded now and the party has moved indoors.  Around tables cards and dice are being taken from their boxes.  The warm glow of the lamps illuminating the faces of these friends is something to see and remember.  I wouldn’t change a thing about this day and how we’ve been able to say goodbye to summer in all the best ways together.  I’m going to blow out this candle and join them.  Tomorrow it’s back to the mainland and with it its realities.  But look at all we get to take back with us.  It means more if you return with it and get back to work.

Truly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Kristina

K+C Bridge jumping - “They give it a 10!!”

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2011 Summer Snapshots: Notes from Tour – Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival

Dear ______,

I know it’s been some time since we’ve corresponded, but after a couple of months off, we are back in action and there is so much to tell you about what the company is doing. With the turn of the weather, we have officially kicked off our summer season and with it, the debut of K+C Extended. So instead of needing just one mini van, the twelve of us dancers piled into two Town and Country’s early in the morning and made the three-hour drive out to Jacob’s Pillow last week. Everyone in the other van slept the whole way here.  Our van passed the time by playing 20 questions and looking up funny YouTube videos. Pick your flavor.

As soon as we arrived, we quickly settled into our 6-bedroom house on campus and then we went right into tech rehearsal for our performance of RUNAWAY at the Jacob’s Pillow Gala that same evening. We shared the program with some incredible artists, including Phillip Glass who played live.  Afterward, we sat down to dinner with the gala attendees. When the live jazz band struck up a chord we thought we would have to be the ones to get the party started on the dance floor but you should have seen this crowd! I’ve never seen so many people desert their dessert so quickly. It really was a ball and we left the party with the best kind of favor, several new friendships.

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EXIT: Ryoji Sasamoto Q&A with Kristina Hanna

Spotlight on Ryoji Sasamoto: THE LONE FIGURE

by: Kristina Hanna

It seemed only fitting to conclude this series with Ryoji whose role has been influential in the story and the making of EXIT. Ryoji who has been working with Larry since 2006 and has been working freelance for about a year now. He joined us this past summer during our residency at the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado to generate material and then returned to Japan to work with a choreographer there. In January of this year he returned, and he’s joined us in the studio ever since. While EXIT has been in the works every day for a year, you can imagine it’s been an interesting ride for Ryoji, who has had to jump in and out of the process throughout. But this is something the remarkable mover does with ease. His generosity of both physicality and spirit allow him to be fully present in this moment and while he’s away from us for stretches of time, when he returns, it’s as if he never left.  It goes to show just how much every element can play into the lasting life of a piece of work.  Ryoji’s character in EXIT, though fully empathetic with the others, seems to be in this world that we’re creating, rather than of it. It’s a fantastic contradiction of sorts that while he stands alone, there is no doubt we stand with him. This week I sat down with him to hear more about his side of the experience. Here are some of the highlights:

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EXIT: RYOJI SASAMOTO

Artistic Director: Larry Keigwin

Video: Sarah Stuve Music: Jerome Begin & Chris Lancaster Styling: Karen Young

Call JoyceCharge at 212.242.0800 or CLICK to purchase online.

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Dark Habits: Matthew Baker Q&A with Kristina Hanna

SPOTLIGHT ON MATT BAKER: Our Quiet Queen

By Kristina Hanna

We sometimes say of someone, “He’s a man of contradiction.”  And what we mean, really, is that his personality is full of more conflict than we’d care to handle.

But when it comes to Matt Baker, contradiction refers only to one of the most delightful plays between poles that I’ve ever seen in a performer. A man of nuance, he is able to sweep back and forth between a straight faced and sleek physical prowess to the over the top, yet perfectly timed humor of a developed comedian that always gets him laughs when we take our KCO show on the road. This interplay holds true off stage too.  Just ask him to do his Sean Connery for you and you’ll agree that he’s one of the funniest people you’ve ever met. But spend some quiet time with him (a five hour plane ride to California for example) and his soft spoken, thoughtful reflections will move you just as deeply as his dancing does. This week he and I sat down together at Joyce Soho before one of our final rehearsals to talk about the highs and lows (and everything between) of the creative process. What I can tell you…it was no drag!  Here are some of the highlights:

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Dark Habits: Matthew Baker

Artistic Director: Larry Keigwin

Video: Sarah Stuve Music: Jerome Begin & Chris Lancaster Styling: Karen Young

Call JoyceCharge at 212.242.0800 or CLICK to purchase online.

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Dark Habits: Kristina Hanna Interview with Larry Keigwin

What’s in a name: FOR STARTERS THEY CALL ME TT

By Kristina Hanna

There are lots of love stories. Not just those about lovers, but of those who come into our lives and change the course of it forever. This is true of the six dancers I work with every day in the studio, and the man who brought us all together. I am never more myself than when I am in the studio with them, and yet it’s in that space, in their presence, that I have the opportunity to challenge that very idea, to break it down, to look around, and reinvent who I’m becoming. It takes time, a good deal of time, to be able to let people in that way and for them to let you in, in turn. And as Liz has said a great deal of trust, of courage too.  But here we are, in this space where spontaneity, discovery, possibility are available to us and between us.  It makes for an incredibly rich, definitely interesting way of living that gives you back more than it takes.  In two years I’ve accumulated more memorable moments than I could have imagined (running across the stage of the Joyce naked!) and a nickname I adore from people I adore more. This Valentine’s Day, I sat down to dinner and drinks with one of the most handsome, charming, and talented men in the city who just so happens to be my boss (lucky me!)  Here are some of the highlights:

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Dark Habits: Kristina Hanna

Artistic Director: Larry Keigwin

Video: Sarah Stuve Music: Jerome Begin & Chris Lancaster Styling: Karen Young

Call JoyceCharge at 212.242.0800 or CLICK to purchase online.

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Dark Habits: Gary Schaufeld Q&A with Kristina Hanna

Spotlight on Gary Schaufeld: NEW STAR RISING

By Kristina Hanna

Never be afraid to try something new,
If you have that hyper itch to,
Take the jump,
The only one to hold you back is now inside you.

This is how “The City Chose Me”, a witty, surprising, even charming rap song, begins. But you might not guess that the man spinning these hot lyrics is none other than our very own, Gary Schaufeld. He goes on to describe himself:

I’m the king of this island,
21, 5’6″, I’m a giant, Switchin’ it from movement to voice,
I’m a genius…like it’s a choice?

All true, but I daresay he’s still being modest. A man of many talents, he is the newest and youngest member of our company. Since the day he joined, he’s not only responsible for bringing his bright, fresh dance style to the picture, he also makes us laugh each and every day. Luckily, I was able to catch my dance partner between as he says, GTL (Gym. Tanning. Laundry.). As we enjoyed our favorite caffeinated beverages at Aroma Espresso Bar, we chatted about all things important: dance, life, passion, fulfillment, and hairspray. Here are the highlights:

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