Man Hunt

When Keigwin + Company dancer Ashley is in charge, Bolero Santa Barbara rehearsals start with a review of the curtain call, referred to among the cast as "The Bow Dance." It's a no-holds-barred line dance that requires some booty-shaking, and everyone, from the 7-year-old skateboarder to the 70-year-old women, loves it. It's the perfect way to get loosened up and shake off the stress of the workday, and it leaves us laughing every time. In fact, rehearsals are becoming so much fun that the impending performance seems tangential to the main point--just dancing. Apparently, one cast member didn't know until recently that there was a plan to perform. Guess she'll be wrapping her head around that one over the next two weeks.

We're having a blast, but it's also a rigorous process. Larry had us run through the same short section about five times on Friday night. The call "reset!" results in 50 people scurrying across the stage to take their positions in the wings.

Friday night brought new excitement in the form of another real surfer. He's getting a starring role in the first part of the piece. Without giving away any choreographic secrets, I'll say this much: it involves a deck change. Later, hunky surfer man returns for a scene that's the stuff of straight man fantasies: being chased by a gaggle of women who push and shove at one another as they vie for his attention. The guy seems to be thoroughly enjoying his role.

Between that scene, the dramatic new segment of flamenco involving beach towels, and the comic geese in the bird refuge section, Friday night's rehearsal was pure entertainment. I'm continually stunned with Larry's ability to organize this cast of non-dancers so effectively, to create a dance that's this much fun to perform and to watch, and to pul the whole thing off as if it's a total pleasure in every moment. What better way to spend a Friday night?

For videos and stills by David Bazemore, check out

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