Once upon a time in the Midwest, a petite dancer named Ruth Page swore never to "do" another waltz. This past weekend despite Maryland Ballet's premiere of her "Midnight Waltzes" at Goucher College in Towson, no one could accuse Page of breaking the vow. Her ballet uses the same Prokofiev waltz nusic as swirling Jerome Robbins' piece and the dancers do keep the beat, but the choreography with its little puns has no lilt or sweep.
Jack Carter's simulation of czarist grandeur in the fiancees' dance from "Swan Lake" was more tricky than anything devised by Petipa. The Marylanders, especially stron Linda Kintz and pliant Maureen Basta, coped withsix distinct ballerina roles but shot Trocadero travesty glances at the audience. More camp followed as Sylvester Campbell did intricate balletic steps while coiling wide Chinese ribbons. Kintz and Mark Mejia slithered, preened and stalked in an Apache dance with disco lighting and insect imagery that had some of the grotesque steps, but none of the scope of Jerome Robbins' "Cage."
The most substantial work was Alvin Ailey's "Feast of Ashes," strong in movement but with a weakened version of Lorca's Bernarda Alba play as plot. Florin Scarlat's dignity and plasticity rescued the altered role of the bethrothed lover.