Addison Hoffman, a fresh performer and an ambitious choreographer who has appeared with Dayton Ballet and here with Dance Transfer, presented the debut of his own company - the Hoffman Dance Consort - at the Publick Playhouse in Cheverly over the weekend. The going was rough as Hoffman's five pieces, and one by Sharon Ann Wyrrick, called for experienced dancers who wouldn't inhibit the young choreographers' flow of ideas.
Choreographing first for one part of the body and then for another, Hoffman's dances have a studied air. Undoubtedly, these are apparent in formal new pieces set to Hindemith and Bach, in a mood solo for Eleanor Bunker set to Villa Lobos, and in a set of character dances set to medieval and Renaissance music.
There was an added fillip to the character dances when, unexpectedly, Hoffman had to take a woman's role. He managed engagingly, but it did tire him for the taxing movement in the next work, the familiar "6 Moments for Duet and Solo" which remains his best choreography.
In "Lullabye," Wyrrick concentrated on conveying the pathos of a matriarchal succession, as a mother dies and her three daughters part to assume their adult places. The dancers rushed to surround Katharine Fowle's matriarch, or paced in grief with hands clenched together and elbows thrusting to one side and then another. This stark, modern dance work to minimalist music by Carla Bley might have dispensed with its chorus but was well structured for the core group of protagonists.