The staff-student concert presented at the Dance Project this weekend did just what it was supposed to do -- provide the students with performing experience and fledging choreographers a chance to try out their works in a formal setting. The student pieces were refreshingly brief and mainly of the kooky variety. Constance Pena explored just about every sound and movement possibility in riding or imitating a bike in her "The Bicycle Dance;" Connie Weis O'Mara's "cluckfunslapdanceclap" set two women clucking and slapping out the title; Emily White wistfully walked and spun, humming softly to herself, in her solo "Pacing."
Of the more experienced choreographers, Allyson Paul's much reworked "From Flight" showed the benefits of its shortening and tightening. In her new solo, "White Carbon," Kathy O'Brien crouched in, or ran through, a pool of light, the juxtaposition of energetic movement with stillness, of light with dark, creating striking images.
Betsy Eagan's "Knock Knock" was both the most original and most problematical work presented. Four frightened women/children dressed in pink baby doll pajamas wandered, rocked and tumbled, gnawing their knuckles in terror, as a black-clad choir sang Chris Beaven's plainsong accompaniment, a variation on the children's song of the title. The work is too long, but it contains some haunting moments, and the germ of a sound idea.