Some of the former Jeune Luners are on the move again. During a decidedly low-key fundraiser Tuesday evening at Franklin Art Works (the pitches for money were apologetic; the buckets for checks and cash were discretely passed), Dominique Serrand, one of Theatre de la Jeune Lune’s founders, announced the debut of a new performance group, The Moving Company.
“This is very moving, to be here with you again,” Serrand told the crowd, in the first of many plays on the name of the new company, which he’s created with Steven Epp. The company’s premiere performance, Come Hell and High Water, will be Friday, May 13, at the Southern Theater. The company will then hit the road to perform and produce work around the country. Collaborator Nathan Keepers is moving back to the Twin Cities to join Serrand and Epp.
The collaborators are, in fact, returning to their more itinerant origins as a theater company. The Tony Award-winning Jeune Lune disbanded 16 years after purchasing, renovating and performing in the Allied Van Lines building (which is still vacant) in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis, and after several leadership changes, both of which, theater watchers have contended, contributed to the company’s demise.
The new company, which will include Christina Baldwin, Marcus Dilliard and Sonya Berlovitz for the debut performance, “is very grassroots right now,” said board member John Dwyer. And Keepers commented that rehearsals are “scrappy,” as well as “relaxed, open and fun.”
Serrand explained that the company is about “finishing the unfinished work” that remained after Jeune Lune’s closing. He also described how the most “profound influence” on his work has been dance, particularly the Tanztheater of the late German choreographer Pina Bausch. “She revolutionized theater,” Serrand emphasized.
Curiously, a gentle approach to encouraging theater supporters to donate is in the air. Two pop-up Saturday yoga classes—registration required, payment at your discretion—to benefit Frank Theatre’s flooded-out Showboat performances of “Cabaret” are happening this month. Do we detect a trend?