It's hard to know whether Addison Hoffman is to be admired for his gumption and enterprise, or to be chastised for the presumption and innocence. Here is a young dancer, a gifted and proficient one at that, who comes out of left field, gathers a small, reasonably adept company and is able to mount a program of seven works all of his own composition, in five of which he is the sole or principal performer.
But the program of the Hoffman Dance Consort, presented at the Prince George's Publick Playhouse this past weekend, was a shambles. Patches of inspiration and craft were swamped by the general formal chaos, pretention and muddled concepts.
There were flashes of genuine creative spark here and there, but not a single one of the seven works could be said to be satisfactorily in focus. The style was eclectic in the extreme, stirring classical ballet and sundry modern idioms into a stew that might be labeled "modball." Paul Taylor was the most conspicuous influence, as in the neo-classic "Five Pieces for Strings" and the mock-medieval "Simple Dances." The premiered "Talybont," on the other hand, looked like a diluted, amateur version of Joffrey's "Trinity."
As a choreographer, Hoffman has a knack for stringing steps together and some nicely eccentric ideas. But on the evidence of this program, he's ahead of himself -- he hasn't mastered crawling yet, and he insists on walking.