Larry Keigwin, current artistic director, founded Keigwin + Company in 2003 with the intention of “invigorat[ing] diverse communities with a refreshing vision of dance that embodies a theatrical sensibility of wit, style, and heart.” These aims are inspired by Keigwin’s diverse influences ranging from high fashion to architecture. For Keigwin + Company, dance in the future will continue “engaging audiences across a variety of platforms.
1. Describe your organization’s mission and its work in 3 adjectives. Please explain the adjectives you selected.
Electrifying, collaborative, engaging: three words that capture KEIGWIN + COMPANY's mission. Electrifying reflects the dynamic and uniquely contemporary vision of dance created and shared by Artistic Director Larry Keigwin. A collaborative process shapes and inspires his artistic vision, while the company strives to actively engage broad audiences and aspiring dancers through public performances, education, and community projects. These bring new opportunities for individuals to become more invested in dance.
2. What inspires the work of your organization and why?
KEIGWIN + COMPANY's work is inspired by Artistic Director Larry Keigwin, who creates work informed by his range of influences. Keigwin works collaboratively with his 12 dancers and that collaborative, and often playful, nature has permeated the organizational culture, shaping not only the artistic process but the administrative process as well. The small administrative team and artistic leadership partner closely together on programming, marketing, design, fundraising, and strategic decision making. Dancers have been integrated into the administrative team by demonstrating talent and initiative in social media, blogging, costume maintenance, and tour coordination.
3. What accomplishment from the past year is your organization most proud of and eager to share with Dance/USA’s membership and the field at large?
In 2012, KEIGWIN + COMPANY embarked on our first summer intensive for aspiring dancers. The planning period began with introspective questions: what would be valuable to aspiring dancers in the current contemporary dance world and how could K+C create an experience that uniquely reflects its mission and vision?
In May 2012, "Let's Make a Dance" launched as a weeklong workshop inviting participants to explore the creative process and the rewards of performance alongside KEIGWIN + COMPANY dancers. Through a curriculum that focused on creating, dancing, and performing with KEIGWIN + COMPANY dancers, the goal was to create a setting in which aspiring dancers could learn to develop their own unique voice and hone their skills as collaborative artist. By using improvisational and compositional tools in a playful environment, participants and KEIGWIN + COMPANY dancers explored working together as an ensemble, culminating in a shared performance experience for invited guests. Not only did "Let's Make a Dance" exceed the initial participant goals, the workshop provided an inspiring and rewarding experience for Keigwin and the dancers.
4. Where do you see dance in the future and how does your organization fit within that vision?
KEIGWIN + COMPANY envisions dance in the future to continue engage audiences across platforms, from the most intimate live performance to a dance on film developed for screening rooms, tv screens, and mobile devices. As an organization that nurtures a dance-maker with a distinct and accessible artistic vision, KEIGWIN + COMPANY will strive to nimbly navigate ways of supporting the creation and presentation of the art form in a variety of different formats. Following the development of innovative promotional videos over the past few years, KEIGWIN + COMPANY believes creating dance on film is an important creative endeavor, as well as an audience engagement tool. They hope to continue exploring dance on film as the company grows, providing opportunities for wider audiences to experience dance not only in the theater, but at their fingertips.
5. As an organization, what do you hope your dance legacy to be?
As KEIGWIN + COMPANY plans for its 10th Anniversary Season in 2013, the question of Keigwin's and the company's legacy is especially timely. Into the future, KEIGWIN + COMPANY hopes to continue building upon its record of creating and sharing an electrifying brand of contemporary dance, engaging audiences and aspiring dancers in movement and the creative process, and providing meaningful ways for broad audiences to experience Keigwin's artistry online through videos, social media, blogging, and new technologies yet to be discovered. Encouraging individuals to dance- whether it is onstage in a Bolero project or dancing out of the theater, inspired by the performance they just experienced- is the bottom line. With our current efforts and activities, KEIGWIN + COMPANY is striving to create a legacy of bridging the gap between formalism and popular culture as true ambassadors of contemporary dance.