RED BANK – Take Ravel’s classic Boléro, professional dancers from KEIGWIN + COMPANY, choreographer Larry Keigwin, plus more than 50 area residents and what do you get? You get Boléro Red Bank, of course.
An open casting call went out from the Two River Theater Company for area residents to be part of a large-scale flash mob. More than 50 people from age 4 to 70+ with varying abilities to dance – no experience necessary – came Monday, July 9, to the Bridge Avenue theater to participate.
They will be practicing from 5 to 8 p.m. each weeknight through July 19 for two special performances on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21.
The final product of all that rehearsing, Boléro Red Bank, will be a world premiere performance created by Keigwin, a visionary modern-dance choreographer, with his dance troupe KEIGWIN + COMPANY, and the flash mob, made up of people like Danna Ruth, 64, of Red Bank.
“It sounded like a fun thing to do,” Ruth said. “I’m here to be in a show and dance, be able to observe professional dancers and have fun – and it’s two weeks of free, forced exercise.”
Ruth came to the Two River Theater along with her friend Brenda Dingfelder, 63. The two met in 1975 on Monmouth Street and have been friends ever since. Dingfelder describes her dance experience as being the “class dancer” from Bayside High School in Queens, N.Y., Class of 1966. “I called Danna and made her come here,” she said. “I like to have fun.”
Others, including Erica Pruno, 8, of Avon-By-the-Sea, her 6-year-old brother Robert, and their mother Lori Pruno, joined the two women on stage. “I love to dance,” Erica said.
Erica expected the experience of being on stage and dancing for an audience to be fun but not Robert. He expected the performance to be “embarrassing.”
Lori Pruno brought her children to the theater because she thought, “it would be a fun, cool summer thing to do… Cool in two ways, cool because it is being done in an air-conditioned space, and cool as in fun, interesting.”
Destiny Hill, 17, was nervous at first but by the end of the first practice session she was able to relax a bit. “I like dancing,” the Eatontown resident said. “Some people think I can’t dance but now I can show the world I can.”
Holly Bradley, 50, of Asbury Park brought her 15-year-old daughter Jordan Robinson to participate. “My daughter loves to dance and this gives us something to do for the summer,” Bradley said. “It’s free and it’s fun. We get to engage with new people and anytime we have come to programs here, we have had fun… We like this theater.”
Keigwin is creating Boléro Red Bank through a collaborative process with the participants, capturing the unique qualities of their lives. During a recent rehearsal participants volunteered that they could ride a unicycle, roller skate, throw a Frisbee and twirl a drum major’s mace. Together they celebrate the spirit of the Two River community in the final performance.
“Larry Keigwin is one of the most adventurous artists in the world of contemporary dance,” said Two River Artistic Director John Dias. “His work is wildly inventive and very theatrical – and he’s passionate about working with community members and inviting people into the creative process. That’s something we believe in, too. Boléro Red Bank is a fantastic opportunity for us to collaborate with a world-class artist, host an exceptional company, and continue to build our community through participation in the arts.”
Boléro Red Bank will be performed on Two River’s Rechnitz stage at 8 p.m. July 20-21 as part of a program that will also include four pieces from KEIGWIN + COMPANY’s professional repertoire: Caffeinated (2007), Love Songs (2006), Triptych (2009) and Contact Sport (2012).
Tickets are available for $20, $37 and $42 by calling 732-345-1400 or by visiting www.trtc.org.