A second visit by New York's Elizabeth Keen Dance Company to the Dance Project this past weekend -- the first was a couple of seasons back -- confirmed the zest, attractiveness and facility of this compact troupe of six. But it brought one no closer to a sense of the group's artistic -- or Keen's choreographic -- identity. Keen's energetic, flexible idiom derives elements from classical tap, pop and assorted modern-dance styles in varying calibrations from work to work, but establishes no clear character of its own.
Two of the compositions of this program, moreover, wore out their welcome long before they stopped -- having set forth and exhausted an initial conceit, they seemed strained to fill out their musical backdrops adequately. "Garlic and Sapphires" is a rococo spoof in the vein of Twyla Tharp's "Push Comes To Shove" (and also set to Haydn), but it's wearyingly facetious. "The Forget-Me-Not" is another failed attempt at whimsy, with dancers in costume-party dress for no apparent reason. By far the most successful piece -- not least because of its intriguing, kaleidoscopic score by Richard Peaslee -- was "Slash," an abstraction unified by a motif of vigorous swiping movements of limbs and torsos.