Hop, hustle and jig: Everybody dance now
July 29, 2010
VAIL – Anyone can move to a beat. At least that’s what choreographer Larry Keigwin believes.
“I think everyone can dance,” he said during a recent phone interview.
That theory will be tested today at the Arrabelle at Vail Square during Dancing in the Streets, an interactive and free public event where anyone who’s willing will strut their stuff. Keigwin, a renowned choregorapher and master dancer, will create a piece “on the fly” with whomever shows up.
Keigwin is the first artist-in-residence for the Vail International Dance Festival, which kicked off Tuesday night at the Ford Amphitheater with a tap-happy performance by hoofer extraordinaire Savion Glover and jazz master Eddie Palmieri. The festival continues through Aug. 10.
Keigwin, who got his big break as a back-up dancer for Downtown Julie Brown on Club MTV, has dance cavorting through his veins.
“I grew up dancing as a club kid,” Keigwin said. “I’ve always approached dance as a social place, and I loved theater.”
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He dislikes the fact that some people think there’s a right and wrong way to dance.
“You can dance socially and make it about personal expression,” he said.
Dancing in the Streets will capitalize on that belief, while putting to the test his own ability to create spontaneously. He saw the site for the first time on Monday.
“I adapt to space pretty quickly – that’s my job to deal with space,” he said. “There are definitely a few thoughts running through my head, sort of a series of connecting daydreams. As artists we’re always daydreaming, ideas are percolating.”
Some people have mused that part of Keigwin’s strength as a choreographer of groups is due to his organizational skills.
“It’s not so much about organizational skills, but about creating a safe environment for people to dance,” he said.
And that’s as important for dance novices (as in Dancing in the Streets) as it is for veterans of the stage.
Dancing in the Streets will also feature an appearance by the Festival’s Artistic Director Damian Woetzel dancing with special guest Ariel Pierce.
Keigwin is not only choreographing the masses at Dancing in the Streets, but he is also performing with partner Ashley Browne on Tuesday at Dance for $20.10. As the featured choreographer, Keigwin created a new work, “Rock Steady,” set on dance stars Tiler Peck, Robbie Fairchild, Joaquin de Luz and Sokvannara Sar that will be world premiered at the International Evenings of Dance performance on Aug. 6 and performed again on Aug. 7.