The Dance Construction Company, Washington's most consistently adventurous dance troupe, ushered in the new season last night in wholly characteristic fashion, by crawling out on a collective limb and dangling eccentrically at its nether reaches -- in the middle of nowhere, so to speak.
Five dancers, including director Maida Withers and Brook Andrews, Don Zuckerman, Diane Floyd and Kathy O'Brien, were joined by sculptor John Driscoll and lighting designer Bill de Mull in an hour-long multimedia improvisation that spread itself in random shards of movement, light and sound across the full expanse of the Studio Theater at George Washington University.
It was an engrossing experience for the most part; a testimonial to the trim control and kinetic imagination of the dancers, as well as to the ingenuity of their collaborators. As the composition unfolded, one encountered any number of provocative sights -- Andrews making a hieratic ritual out of rolling up his shirtsleeves; Zuckerman scrambling across the floor like a crab, in a tilted swivel chair; Withers clinging like a demented barnacle to Driscoll's back; Floyd gunning herself suddenly into dazzling spins.
It had its down side, too -- the almost inevitable passages of sagging inspiration, faltering connection, stalled momentum. That's the price of spontaniety, but at least this time it was worth it.