Choreographer Larry Keigwin celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his dance company by jumping on the bed. And inviting his friends to jump on the bed. And making videos, promoting them online with the hashtag #sharethemattress, and creating a marketing campaign that's as fun and festive as Keigwin and his posse of dancers.
Keigwin says that not a whole lot has changed since Keigwin + Company's early days. "The size of the company expands and contracts according to the work we are touring," he says. "When the company first started, the dancers were me and my friends. Today the dancers are students of mine."
He's attracted to dancers with big personalities, "fierce technique," and acting ability. Magnetism, a sense of humor, and — he's not afraid to admit — physical attractiveness — all matter to him. It's what you'd expect from a man who staged a Fashion Week show produced by Vogue that featured more than 150 top models.
"Keigwin + Company stands out because it doesn't shy away from the E-word, entertainment," Keigwin says. "The work is highly athletic, theatrical, and witty."
Spoleto audiences will see several Keigwin classics, including the fashion-inspired Runaway, which showcases a dozen dancers dressed in '60s garb moving down a runway of light; Vanity Fair called it "a thrilling coup d'theater." And the hyper-kinetic Megalopolis — set to Steve Reich's "Sextet" and "Six Marimbas" and M.I.A.'s "World Town" and "XR2" — is inspired by insect social behavior, with colonies of dancers swarming the stage in ritualistic patterns.
While Keigwin has earned renown in the dance world for his work with his company, he stays busy elsewhere as well. Most notably, he choreographed the new Idina Menzel Broadway musical If/Then. "I have always dreamt about choreographing a Broadway show and was so grateful of this recent opportunity," he says. "Working with the creative team and cast of If/Then was a blast. I also found the creative process to be very stimulating. ... I was inspired by all the collaborations and talent that goes into making a completely new musical."
He's also made community outreach a major component of his company. "I have always enjoyed working with people of varying degrees of dance ability," he says. "I truly believe everyone can dance. It's just a matter of cultivating it."