Bernstein was shot into stardom while filling in for a sick colleague at a Philharmonic concert. The New York Times put the show on the front page the next day, cementing Bernstein’s spot in the limelight.
Bernstein and John F. Kennedy both attended Harvard, something that led them to become friends during later years. After the president’s assassination, Bernstein conducted Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 as a part of a nationally televised memorial in JFK’s honor.
His daughter, Jamie, recounts the moment she realized the importance of her father: “...we were watching The Flintstones. And Betty and Wilma were going to the Hollyrock Bowl to hear Leonard Berstone conduct. That’s when we thought, ‘Oh my god, he must’ve really hit the big time if he’s on The Flintstones.’ ”
Bernstein had his own TV program, Young People’s Concerts, which aired on CBS from 1958-1972 and sought to bring music education into living rooms around America.
One of my first performances as a first-year dance student at the University of Minnesota was performing Larry Keigwin’s Runaway in the spring concert in 2014. The two-week residency included classes from Kile Hotchkiss followed by rehearsal with him. As a freshman, my mindset was to approach the rehearsal prepared to learn the choreography at a quick pace and layer on performative details later. At the time, I measured my artistic performance based on how accurately I could execute the choreography. But through this process, my eagerness to perform the work shifted to strengthening my dynamics, movement quality and musciality throughout the arc of the piece.
The opportunity to have rehearsal immediately after class with Hotchkiss introduced me to the aesthetic and movement vocabulary of KEIGWIN + COMPANY as well as to the choreography of the work. This rehearsal was also one of my first experiences working with the U dance professor Erin Thompson. Her guidance gave me a greater understanding of physicality and how it shifts within different techniques. The cast of the piece, who were mainly third and fourth year students, influenced me to further my work ethic and performative exploration in each rehearsal. Through the support and encouragement of Hotchkiss, Thompson and the cast of the piece, performing Runaway was an experience that greatly influenced the direction I chose to continue my dance career after my recent graduation from the U.
With KEIGWIN + COMPANY. joining the Symphony Orchestra at Northrop on Apr 14, I am looking forward to seeing how the energy of sound manifests in the bodies of the dancers and how both artists influence each other’s performance throughout the arc of the work. I always find it majestic to have a live soundscape encompassing dance artists on stage and I’m ready to be at the edge of my seat.
KEIGWIN + Company is a fierce force in the contemporary dance world. With their dynamic and witty presence, they truly bridge the commercial and concert dance worlds. Art and entertainment come together as Larry Keigwin’s sense of imagination, joy, and positivity shines through in his work. The company’s dancers radiate with distinct voices in the repertoire, and this emanates as they continues to surprise audiences with innovative movement vocabulary and choreographic themes. Alive and rich with possibility, the company embraces humanity, humor, teamwork and collaboration as the foundation of their signature style.
Beyond experimenting with fresh ideas in the studio, K+C also has an admirable history of community outreach and educational engagement. They understand the power of immersing everyday people - not just dancers - in the choreographic process. Through past projects like Bolero and the upcoming Dance at the Gym workshop anyone can share in the exciting opportunity to dance to iconic musical masterpieces, while directly engaging with Larry, the company, and professional dancers in the community. Their educational outreach programs continue to grow, offering accessible and valuable tools for professional/pre-professional dancers in the world today. Dance is supposed to be fun, not only technically demanding and precise! While these elements are integral and evident in the company’s dancers, it is clear to see that they transcend those limitations and expand beyond the norm while embracing the J.O.D. (Joy of Dance!)
KEIGWIN + Company is a rare gem in today’s dance world. With power and grace, they are paving a path in the direction dance is heading.