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    Justin Dominic and Kyle Hotchkiss, L and R, in Megalopolis in Keigwin+Company 2012
    Photo by Matt Murphy
    Justin Dominic and Kyle Hotchkiss, L and R, in Megalopolis

    Flying at the Speed of Caffeine

    Keigwin + Company keeps getting better at The Joyce


    Four totally different pieces, four totally satisfying results — pretty good for one evening, Larry Keigwin. Other than sharing a caffeinated sharpness and doublespeed aesthetic, each piece of the 2012 Joyce show stands on its own.

    Choreography by: Larry Keigwin.
    Dancers: Matthew Baker, Ashley Browne, Aaron Carr, Brandon Cournay, Justin Dominic, Ariel Freedman, Kile Hotchkiss, Kit McDaniel, Emily Oldak, Gary Schaufeld, Emily Schoen, Jaclyn Walsh.
    Music by: Jonathan Melville Pratt, Adam Crystal.
    Costumes by: Liz Prince (Trio), Fritz Masten (Megalopolis), Marion Talan, Dane Laffrey.
    Lighting design by: Burke Wilmore.
    Associate Director: Nicole Wolcott.
    The Joyce
    June 13-17, 2012

    Chairs — the one prop every choreographer has used — actually help in the success of 12 Chairs. 12 seated dancers moving in waves of threes and fours, but rarely in the same groupings, give a kaleidoscopic synchronized swimming feel to much of the opening, with a subtle buildup in motion and music. Jonathan Melville Pratt has hit another home run with the music for 12 Chairs, giving it pulse and tension and energy. Little touches of casual precision are potent; all 12 sweeping their chairs 45 degrees at a time feels a little like a magic trick, despite its simplicity. As all 12 line their chairs along the front of the stage, geometry gives way to facial expression and acting, but dancers still fire from their chairs in randomly planned groupings. 12 Chairs is one of those little worlds complete in itself that Keigwin excels at creating.

    Aaron Carr and Emily Schoen in Trio in Keigwin+Company 2012  
    Photo by Matt Murphy  
    Aaron Carr and Emily Schoen in Trio
    Then, almost to prove a point, the wonderfully dancey Trio puts Aaron Carr, Kile Hotchkiss and Emily Schoen onstage for a flowing, jumping, partnering thing of beauty. There is no clowning or spectacle here; this is an emotionally full triad with gorgeous movement and strong dancer connections. Elegant silver-grey skirts with underflashing pink linings, by Liz Prince, are as supple and beautiful as the dancers, and tastefully classic music — "No. 6 for Piano, Marimba, Cello, Violin" by Adam Crystal — fits and shapes the mood well.

    Contact Sport in Keigwin+Company 2012
    Photo by Matt Murphy
    Contact Sport

    Silly play rules the game in the male quartet Contact Sport. Matthew Baker, Aaron Carr, Brandon Cournay and Gary Schaufeld take turns being impish and impressive, true reflections of Mr. Keigwin himself. The sport in this game is lifting, catching and flinging bodies around, and these four do it quite well. Once in a while, one or more will break away for flights of leaps, breaking up the tension and groundedness of bodies carrying other bodies. Throughout, little flecks of humor and levity keep things fun. And tongue-in-cheek lyrics and humorous links between lyrics and movement complete the feat.

    Megalopolis (2009) showcases one of the showcase pieces Keigwin loves to create on the raw clay of dancers graduating from elite schools, in this case for Juilliard. It is spectacle and raw fun, wrapped in glitzy costumes and youthful exuberance. Steve Reich music takes turns with MIA music, and the handoffs are dramatic and satisfying; there is a tension and formality to Reich's music (and Keigwin's staging) that is delicious, and then a surge of pentup energy when MIA's snarling raps show up. Meanwhile, the dancers have a blast the whole time, flutterwaving through space with clubdancey virtuosity, in waves or lines occasionally interrupted by a spotlit breakdance or an unlit glowstick dance. Kile Hotchkiss stands out as the biggest and best waver, but all radiate joy and are a joy to watch.

    JUNE 22, 2012

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