With this new piece, New York choreographers Larry Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott took the DANCEworks audience on a journey into the psychological, emotional, and imaginative backstage world of a contemporary dancer. While avoiding a cohesive narrative, and working in fragments that ranged from biting satire to physical comedy and deep pathos, Keigwin and Wolcott produced something that, while frequently hilarious, was also deeply poignant and intensely thought-provoking.
The performers have known and worked with one another for decades, and their rapport verges on the telepathic. The rapidly shifting score was like a dance fiend’s music collection on shuffle. Snatches of crooning alternated with Broadway classics and ’80s hits, such as “People Are People” by Depeche Mode. Keigwin explored his early brush with the Broadway gypsy life as a prelude to a hysterical solo version of something from Cats. While changing her costume and fiddling with a wig, Wolcott delivered a moving soliloquy on the perils that aging presents for a dancer.
Constant costume changes done in full view of the audience provided the evening’s strongest connecting thread. As with the music and the movement, these various outfits presented both the comic and the tragic side of the dancers’ experience. Bound for its full premiere at New York’s Public Theater next week, Places Please! was a sophisticated treat for savvy dance fans and newcomers alike.