Twenty-eleven marks one year after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, one year before the supposed apocalypse—and the 40th anniversary of dance at Bowdoin. The dance40@bowdoin celebration kicks off with a performance by Keigwin + Company tomorrow night.
Eight dancers from Keigwin + Company will perform "Elements," a piece commissioned by the Florida Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival, and premiered at The Joyce Theater in New York City in 2008. The dance embodies the four natural elements of earth, fire, air and water using techniques from a variety of dance styles.
"The dancers and I are influenced by many different styles including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, club and gymnastics," wrote artistic director and company founder Larry Keigwin in an email to the Orient. "The dances are funny, physical and uniquely theatrical."
The eclectic nature of "Elements" is clear from its soundtrack, which features a variety of genres including classical, world and even '80s pop.
The dance department has been working on the dance40@bowdoin festival for a year-and-a-half and is excited to bring a well-known group like Keigwin + Company to campus.
"It is part of our mission as a dance company to share our exciting dances with a diverse population, and it is especially a treat to share with college students," wrote Keigwin.
Keigwin studied dance at Hofstra University in New York and formed Keigwin + Company in 2003. The company quickly became known for its stylish and innovative dance form.
"It is intelligent, clearly shaped, and highly physical," said Paul Sarvis, senior lecturer in dance performance and one of the organizers of dance40@bowdoin.
Numerous well-known artistic establishments have recognized Keigwin's work. Institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum, The Julliard School, The New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute and The Martha Graham Dance Company have commissioned performance pieces.
Some of Keigwin's other accomplishments include serving as the Vail International Dance Festival's first artist in residence in 2010, staging the opening event of Fashion Week's "Fashion's Night Out: The Show" in New York, and being asked to choreograph the new off-Broadway production of "Rent."
Keigwin also helped found the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colo. According to his website, the goal of this festival is to "increase cultural opportunities in the region, as well as provide creative residences to young, emerging choreographers."
Along with the company's performance on Saturday, Keigwin will be teaching a master class for advanced dance students this afternoon.
"The class features live accompaniment by Portland musician Shamou," said Sarvis.
Keigwin + Company's performance of "Elements" is open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. tomorrow night in Pickard Theater.
Tickets are free but required and are available of the Smith Union Information Desk, the McLellan Building, and immediately before the show at the box office.
A reception hosted by the Association of Bowdoin Friends will commence immediately after the performance in Drake Lobby of Pickard Theater.