Beach Blankets Gone Wild
It is both fascinating and moving to watch the process of creating Bolero SB. In less than a week, choreographer Larry Keigwin has captivated everyone while creating a new, if temporary, performing community. After watching rehearsal tonight, I left the theatre reflecting on how focused everyone was in learning the work, and most significantly, how joyful everyone seemed. This is most definitely NOT a group of professional performers. Most are taking a crash course in learning stage direction, timing, movement qualities and spacing. The assembled group is random except for the fact that all live in Santa Barbara. Each brave soul responded to a request to be a part of a performance directed by someone most had never heard of. They showed up as well to do something that they couldn’t possibly fully comprehend from our limited descriptions. They’re learning that putting a performance together requires commitment and hours and hours of rehearsals. They probably came for a multitude of reasons; including plain curiosity, or some long hidden desire to perform that they decided was time to release.
Tonight I wanted to bless each one of them for their courage and openness and trust. Together, they are creating an extraordinary work! Hopefully they will share it with hundreds of audience members and the smiles will spread exponentially.
Larry Keigwin doesn’t screw around when he’s working, and yet he creates an atmosphere that is relaxed, supportive, respectful and accepting of all the diversity of non-dancer participants. He’s working and working hard, but he makes it look like he’s always having a blast. His laugh and smile are contagious and he has a gift of putting everyone at ease. In about a minute and a half of Bolero music time, he manages to bring beach towels to life.
Egos seem to be dissolving as everyone has begun to work together as a team. It’s a life-affirming process, which, as it develops, is lifting the spirits of participants and spectators alike. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
(all photos by David Bazemore)