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Keigwin + Company

'EXIT'

by Julie Lam

March 8, 2011 -- The Joyce Theater, New York, NY

Over the past few months, Keigwin+Company released a racy promotional video series a la Skins that featured the dancers of his upcoming evening-length work “EXIT” and their individual dark habits amidst gritty urban backdrops. One dancer admits she loves donning wigs at night. Another exalts stilettos. Wired with ultracolor and brimming with self-indulgence, revelers and denizens of the night would worship Keigwin’s newest work. Keigwin+Company displayed many faces last night at its world premiere of EXIT, disclosing that which stretches beyond the work of Eros with a bottle o’ fierce on the side.

We first see the dancers lined up across the stage of a grimy nightclub setting, gazing intently into the audience. They gravitate toward the wall behind, and what follows for the hour is a series of hyperkinetic duos and trios that trace the nature of relationships, primal urges, compulsions and fixations.

Liz Riga is a powerhouse vixen on the loose with a stare that undresses you. Aaron Carr commands the crowd with his technical facility and poise in merely a jockstrap and 6-inch heels. Matthew Baker and Gary Schaufeld let us peer into their emotive duet. Kristina Hanna and Ashley Browne deliver flair and aplomb in their performances. And may I add that Kristina Hanna makes a cigarette seem damn good? Let’s not forget the live musician -Jerome Begin who remixes and mashes pre-recordings from Chris Lancaster on his synth and controllers, sending us on an exhilarating ride from start to finish.

Ryoji Sasamoto emerges as the Pegasus of “EXIT”. He weaves in and out of the dance segments so seamlessly; I can hardly tell when he leaves the stage. It’s like he is there the entire time. A showstopper moment for Sasamoto includes a controlled freakout solo peppered with hasty back handsprings. Sasamoto appears to inhabit a fuller spectrum of the emotional and psychological landscape than the other characters, and thus his exit, made closure plausible.

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