Howard University's new choreography concert in Cramton Hall on Thursday and Friday included 23 numbers by the school's dance faculity and students. So there was no time to dally or indulge in those intense, inner-directed studies of esoteric styles that typify modern dance at so many educational institutions.
Actually, a little development of movement ideas would have given more substance to the many show-biz and disco routines on the bill, for Howard's dance makers tended to rely on applause-pumping steps, instantly recognizable chorus-line formations and rhythmically easy pop music. And, while the performers had punch, one wondered whether some of the talent on stage had a complete technique-with the command of phrasing, ability to modulate from one type of movement to another, and the energy reserve necessary for sustained choreography.
But behind the entertainment-world veneer, there were hints of deeper concerns. Mostly, they were fleeting allusions to black history or social situations, but in Hope Price's piece, the distinct dilemmas of four underdog women were characterized directly in movement and words.Price had the audience shouting. LaVerne Reed and Edna Long's skilled direction gave the great quantity of material its fleet and varied pace.