Throwing a Party

Who said modern dance wasn't fun?

Bolero NYC marks Keigwin’s second use of Ravel's eponymous escalation into frenzy. This time he and his company are joined by 46 volunteers of all ages and sizes—everyone wearing assorted red, black, white, and gray clothes. It's New York, folks—only brighter and better. Keigwin can empty a stage, refill it, wheel it like a top, and bring it to a sudden stop with a sure hand for theatrical build. Crowd flow may stop while people fix their hair and tuck in their shirts, examine unwelcome pimples or pull out cell phones. Pedestrian traffic coalesces when orderly hordes unfurl umbrellas and wait for the rain to pass; then, amid all the black umbrellas, one renegade opens a red one. Gradually, one man forces the horde into the opening behind the stage's huge sliding door; for a starling moment, just before he closes the door on the last stragglers, there, utterly alone on stage, stands an 18-month-old baby, staring gravely at us.

Amid the fray, Keigwin draws our attention to, say, a mother who fusses over her little girl's appearance, a worried woman who appears confused by everything, a very tall man who strides across in a suit and returns wearing only a red tie and a red Speedo, a woman walking two identical dogs in red coats, a posse of would-be teen models, a chubby diva surrounded by prowling men. And more. By the time Ravel's horns are braying and the cymbals are crashing, everyone's prancing down a red carpet flourishing a balloon.

Jennifer Harmer and Chris Elam in Elam's
Future Perfect.
photo: Briana Blasko
Jennifer Harmer and Chris Elam in Elam's Future Perfect.


Chris Elam/Misnomer Dance Theater
Keigwin + Company
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
April 12 and 14

Larry Keigwin may not need Broadway, but Broadway could certainly use him.

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