Not to quibble with Aristotle, but why must a successful work of art have a definite beginning, middle and end? Sometimes it's nice to be confronted with climaxless, ongoing dance work, perhaps the finest example being the 'Events" of Merce Cunningham. This kind of work by-passes traditional structure, proscenium stages and theatrical trappings in order to focus on great swatches and snippets of old and current dances.
This past weekend's performances by the Dance Construction Company reminded one of such events. The dancing took place in the long, rectangular space within George Washington University's Building K, without the hindrance of curtains, wings, or backdrop. Costumes were simple, props few. The musicians created their wonderful electronic and natural sounds in plain sight. And no intermission broke up the flow of the dancing.
Maida Withers' choreography rushed and peaked like some gentle yet persistent wave. Her movement style rejects tension and histrionics in favor of sweeps and curves and incredibly varied and sensuous partnerings. Except for one botched interlude by a crowd of red-leotarded students, the central performers -- Withers, Brook Andrews, Anne McDonald, Kathy O'Brien and Don Zuckerman -- dug deep into each phrase, established emotional relationships through pure movement only, and allowed their audience to ferret out complex patterns of shape of rhythm without any undue straining or head-scratching.