Dance Transfer, at its weekend Publick Playhouse concert, presented four new works flawed by ideas in search of craft, or craft in search of ideas.
The dancers in Nancy Galeota's "Tinabulations" wear bells on their ankles, and the choreography has a bell-like clarity, but the work looks like the outer layer of a ballet yet to be born. A general aura of playfulness is not enough to hold the piece together.
Sharon Ann Wyrrick's idea for "Phases and Changes" -- is a good one, and her skillful use of simple movements and manipulations of small groups of dancers is interesting, but the dance needs sharp pruning to fulfill its promise.
Addison Hoffman's work is full of ideas, but they sometimes remain uncommunicated. His experimental "Voices" begins with six dancers sitting motionless on chairs while a tape babbles incoherently. All leave but Hoffman, who dances a slow-motion solo built mainly on plies and turns before a blurry film of himself dancing similar movements. The sharp silhouette of Hoffman's shadow was a fasinating intruderer between the live dancer and the filmed one.
Hoffman's "Aqua Celer" is a pure movement piece that should need nothing more than its music to give it structure. Although the final two movements are musically coherent, the first is barely on speaking terms with Bach's Concerto in A Minor, which seems to float irrelevantly over the heads of the dancers.
Also included on the program was Galeota's previously performed "Bejanblu," whose loosely related vignettes were forged together by a taut performance.