There's room in every medium, including choreography, for worthy miniatures, but even the smallest of the small requires a modicum of craft to deserve the name of art. The trouble with the evening of dances offered by Anne Sahl and Stuart Pimsler (with the assistance of a fine guest dancer, Beau Weitzman) at the Washington Project for the Arts last night was that, despite some structure or focus to sustain even this brief program of vignettes.
The strong suit for both Sahl and Pimsler, who have been performing and making dances in New York and elswhere for some years now, would seem to be not movement per se but dramatic or comic evocation. This was evident, for example, in the evening's most fully realized composition, Sahl's recent "Souls." The duet has a haunted-house tape score by Wall Matthews, and puts Sahl and Pimsler through stealthly, dream-like paces in a half-light, the whole thing suggesting a certain trafficking in ectoplasm.
Steven Witt's wacky little solo for Sahl -- clad in battle fatigues, knapsack and ballet slippers, she makes a banquet out of soda pop -- also starts promisingly. Like the other four items (by Sahl and Pimsler) on the program, however, it runs out of creative momentum the moment the basic premise has been set forth. Choreography isn't just getting ideas, but knowing what to do with them.