What summations can one make about a program that jumps from precision tap dancing to experimental gyrations to African drumming to Marion Barr? Call it City Dance, and you've solved the problem.
Last night's festivities started off with a fine performance by the buoyant and polished Maryland Dance Theater. Murry Louis' "Bach Suites" allowed the dancer to leap and sweep and stride in regal, symmetrical ways, while company director Larry Warren's clever examination of marriage, "Playets," provided them ample opportunity to act and emote and jest as well as move.
Next came Mayor Barry, with an enthusiastic speech about art in D.C., followed by an award presentation to Mr. Rhythm, this city's most cherished hoofer. "Thank you," he exclaimed. "I would like to say that the one person who deserved this is me." In fitting tribute to Mr. Rhythm, the Bren-Car dancers tore through two spirited tap numbers replete with Rockette-style kicks, wild time steps and smiles galore.
Rounding out this diverse and rousing bill of fare were the Dance Construction Company, who swirled and connected through Maida Withers' spacy, dreamlike "Catching Butterflies and Other Things That Move," and the Wo'se Dance Theater, whose frenzied drummings, stomps and shimmies left the whole crowd roaring.