tJoyce Trisler was a marvelous musical choreographer. She didn't clinically dissect a score, but rather found the music's emotional core and worked from there. The four pieces performed by the Joyce Trisler Danscompany last night at Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater showed this musicality, and also served as a sampler of Trisler's other talents.
"Dance for Six," a technically challenging work which, although plotless, allows its dancers to retain their personalities, shows Trisler's skill as an inventor of movement. As the Vivaldi score bubbles, the dancers bound around the stage with infectious enthusiasm.
"Journey," a 1958 solo, explores the sepulchral qualities in Ives' "The Unanswered Question" as the dancer (Diane Grumet) moves hesitantly, perhaps waiting for something, and with the same sweet dissonance as the music.
"Little Red Riding Hood" is subtitled "An Urban Fable" and is a raunchy vision of low life by someone who lived in New York too long. The score is a jazzy concoction of Duke Ellington's greatest hits and the sotry is an update of the country girl-meets city-wolf tale. Story and characterizations are told by the dances, which are wonderfully inventive. There are two extraordinary pas de deux: one for Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf, which very clearly shows her knowing naivete and his dishonorable intentions; another a dream sequence where our heroine is reunited with her True Love.