Rare, indeed, is the classical choreographer. According to Lincoln Kirstein, director of New York City Ballet, there are only one or two per generation. All big American companies have been searching for new ones. In Stuttgart, the shortage of dance makers who combine originality with traditional craftsmanship became acute when John Cranko died in 1973, and last night our dance visitors showed us some attempts to remedy the situation.
Under the sponsorship of their city's Noverre Society (named after the great 18th-century ballet master), six pieces by five current Stuttgart dancers were given at Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater.
Only two of the choreographers worked in strictly academic style. To a Vivaldi "Concerto in G" the 19-year-old Uwe Scholz composed a bright schoolboy essay in neoclassicism. Scholz has yet to learn how to relate different types of steps, but he had fun with straight line formations and the piece was fresh. Pierre Wyss, in Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals" seldom transformed his step combinations into choreography. Most of the jokes were in the set-up, and not in the actual dancing. His best number was the "Dying Swan," beautifully and seriously performed by a male, Christopher Boatwright.
A mad couple tormented their own bodies and each other's in William Forsythe's visualization of a Hans Werner Henze air "From the Spanish Madness." Thoroughly conveyed by movement are its remarkable moments of tenderness amidst clawings, wrenchings and twistings. Forsythe's "Urlicht" duet looked like many other plastically athletic adagios to Mahler music. Lisi Grether and Randy Diamond in the Henze, and Jean Allenby and Reid Anderson in the Mahler gave their all to difficult tasks.
A woman intruded on two men in Rosemary Heliwell's trio for modern torsos doing classical steps, a bad Tetley idea.Jerome Robbins told the story better in "Facsimile." Dale Brannon's grim madness drama tackled a plot far too complex.