Larry Keigwin’s “Exit”

Larry Keigwin’s Exit had its world premiere on Tuesday night at the Joyce in Chelsea. Above two photos by Matthew Murphy. (Top: dancers are, l-r: Kristina Hanna, Liz Riga, Ashley Browne; Bottom photo: Aaron Carr and Ashley Browne). The two photos below are by Christopher Duggan.

I really enjoyed it, and didn’t want it to end, which is the way I usually feel with Keigwin + Company. My friend, who hadn’t seen the company since the wacky Kabaret at Symphony Space, loved it. It was abstract dance but there were little stories that took place between the seven dancers (three women and four men). The music, composed by Jerome Begin and Christopher Lancaster, was an intriguing blend of industrial and contemporary classical, with an amusing Patsy Cline-esque piece thrown in. The dance, which was an hour long and had a kind of club feel too it, was classic Keigwin – containing by turns hints of violence, humor, sadness, intensity, always loads of energy. He made good use of a back wall and its doorway (he often has dancers running up or along a wall, and there was a little of that here as well).

My favorite part of Exit was the most humorous – where two men, once an item, are having a little spat and Aaron Carr comes breezing through the door in the back wall dressed in black leather jock strap and high heels miming Patsy Cline-esque lyrics and acting like a total diva. It was hard to take your eyes off Carr (he’s the dancer in the center of the third photo, by the way – though dressed differently there) but I think the two men continued their spat then made up while he was diva-ing around. Later, all the dancers don the high heels but now in the dark only the white pumps are visible and the dancers playfully prance around like they’ve discovered a new toy. Amazingly, the men could move really well in them!

I was sad to see that Nicole Wolcott is no longer with the company (I’d forgotten she left) but Liz Riga (the dancer in the middle of the top photo above) has taken her place as my favorite in the company. Loved the way she’d whip her head about, her long black hair flying wickedly, and the way she’d forcefully strike out at her partner during the darker moments. And I love her size!

But actually all of the dancers Keigwin chooses are compelling in one way or another, and they each have their own unique thing, which is one of the things I so love about him. You never confuse the dancers with each other – they’re all different shapes and sizes and each exhibit their own sense of humor and beauty and creative energy.

Anyway, Exit is a lot of fun. Go see it – tix start at only $10! It’s showing through March 13th at the Joyce.

PS: DAMN! I just re-read my “review” of Keigwin Kabaret written almost four years ago now. What a horribly boring writer I’ve become! I don’t know what happened. I think it’s because critics started linking to me and I started feeling like I had to sound professional. Or maybe it’s that I got old. Or maybe that I stopped dancing myself. Anyway, I’ve become a horrendous bore! I’m sorry!

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