Dance performances

Big Muddy brings ‘Lemp Legends’ to life with dance performances at a famous mansion | Arts and theater

An integral part of St. Louis lore, the story of the Lemp family – a brewing dynasty that was beset by multiple suicides and left behind a reputedly haunted mansion – proved to be a fertile source for the Big Muddy Dance Company. “Lemp Legends,” which debuted two years ago at the Edison Theater, is relaunching this weekend as the set’s 2020-21 season opener — but with a difference.

The multi-sectioned piece has been redesigned for a walking tour of the mansion and adjoining spaces and will premiere online this weekend. An immersive production for audiences at the mansion has been delayed to comply with city and county safety recommendations and is now scheduled for the spring.

The choreography is from dancers Geoffrey Alexander, CJ Burroughs, Dustin Crumbaugh, Bennett Cullen and Brandon Fink, and curated by Big Muddy artistic director Brian Enos.

Enos and Executive Director Erin Warner Prange spoke with Go! Magazine on production reinvented. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Q • There is a certain fantasy attached to the Lemp legend. Do the dances tap into that?

Prange • Some of them. We discovered through the first production that there is a whole contingent of paranormal fans who love Lemp. So we had a lot of new faces in this production who maybe weren’t dance fans before, but just loved the Lemp family story and the ghostly factor it contained. Fingers crossed we get it again.

Q • What will the online version of “Lemp Legends” consist of?

Prange • We are going to film the tour. And it will be like a virtual tour – with a view as if you were in space as an audience member.

Q • The Big Muddy Dance Company has an impressive repertoire. What is it about “Lemp Legends” that makes it a good choice to open the season? Particularly at a time when arts organizations are dealing with the pandemic?

Enos • We plan to reboot “Lemp Legends” pretty much since we first did it – to take the first draft and make it better. Once everything changed, we had to kind of pivot and completely redesign what it looks like. Fortunately, we were able to do it, but there were a lot of logistics to sort out.

Q • Will the choreography be the same as before?

Enos • Due to the nature of performance and the unique limitations of each space, we have virtually redesigned the entire production. So most of the choreography is completely new. I think there’s only one scene where the choreography stayed the same.

What “Lemp Legends” • When Available from Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. to Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. • Or Ticket required for access • How much $20 • More information thebigmuddydanceco.org

“We’ve been planning to reboot ‘Lemp Legends’ pretty much since we did it the first time – to take the first draft of it and improve it. Once everything changed, we had to kind of pivot and reword what he looks like entirely.”

Brian Enos

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