Two offbeat dance events contributed to the drama of a weekend already heightened by the continued tribulations of American Ballet Theatre's "Don Quixote"
The first was the presentation of a new work by Laura Dean, composed for American University's spring dance concert and performed by an AU ensemble at Clendenen Theater, Called "music and dance for nine," it was a 20-minute sampling of Dean's highly foreground of contemporary choreographic activity.
Like Dean's other recent compositons, this one involves ritual repetition and a limited vocabulary of basic steps like walking, stamping and spinning. There is also, however, a sense of enrichment that has emerged in the past couple of seasons - the intricate geoetry of the floor patterns, the chanted and instrumental music and the bright silky colors of the costumes all add up to a kind of minimalist cuphoria. Though the new piece lacks the mesmeric intensity of Dean's more demanding works for her own professional troupe, it is nevertheless an alluring example of her style.
The second event was a concert by the Pauline Koner Dance Consort at the crest of the Maryland Council for Dance 1978 Festival in Catonsville Saturday night.
Koner is an extraordinary loner, one of the true originals of the modern dance movement who has evolved from the solo work of her youth to the making of ensemble dances in her later years. Though Konor herself did not perform with her troupe in this instance, the choreography reflected the imaginative breadth of her eelectic impulses and distinguished earlier career. Four extended works composed since 1968 ranged from a gracefully erotic duct ("Poeme") to group pieces, varying in mood and idiom from stark alienation to wistful lyricism. Though some of the movement sufered from spatial and rhythmic blandness, there was wealth of sculptural invention here which riveted attention.