Choo San Goh's ballet called "Fives" is such an exciting piece of work that watching it at the conclusion of the Washington Ballet's program at Lisner Auditorium last night all but wiped out memory of the rest of the evening. This was so even though it was a fine program generally, and one that began, in fact, with a Balanchine masterpiece -- "Concerto Barocco."
Part of the reason was the performance by 15 company members. In its attack, ensemble and spirit, it was nothing short of electric, and a wonderful example of the way in which first-class choreography and inspired dancing mutually flatter each other.
No less of a factor was the work itself. Goh, now the troupe's assistant artistic director, created "Fives" in 1978, and though he has since made several equally splendid and in some ways more "advanced" ballets; none is more stirring or memorable.
Given the magnificient sweep of its group dynamics -- so apt for the Bloch "Concerto Grosso" to which it is set -- and the unerring visual logic of its imagery, "Fives" alone is formidable enough to assure Goh a high place among the major young choreographers of contemporary ballet.
The three pas de deux that preceded seemed arranged in descending order of interest and merit. The implicit drama of Eric Hampton's Tudoresque "Slow Movement," premiered last season, seemed even more impressive a second time around, in a rapt account by Roxanne Lessa and John Goding. Charles Bennett's "Albinoni Adagio," exquisitely set forth by Lynn Cote and Douglas Hevenor, looked like artfully designed sensual kitsch, mostly splits, contractions and jungle lifts. Tom Pazik's "Tzigane," though engagingly danced by Mary Barton and Mark Neal, was unredeemed kitsch -- a shapeless bout of Gypsy cliches.