In earlier years, when experimentation was still largely the order of the day, a small Washinton dance group calling itself Feet First was doing some interesting things in the way of "environmental" dance -- performing at public sites as the steps of the Capitol and Metro stations, the dancers adapting their movements to the surroundings. Later on, they began to stage neo-Dada "happenings" on street corners or in cabarets. More recently still, they've dipped into tap and jazz, and within the past year, rechristened as the JTD (Jazz Turned Disco) Dancers, they've shown up at nighteries like Tramps and made an appearance at the Winter Olmpics.
This past weekend JTD was one of 15 or so performing attractions at the "Taste of the Town" food fair at the Shoreham. Five women, including director and chief choreographer Carol Aughn, strutted, shimmied and kicked their way throuugh some disco numbers, dressed in more or less regulation punk outfits -- leopard-skin tops, baggy black pants and heeled shoes.
The dancers have all obviously had some training, but in a way, this only adds to the artificiality of the result. Everything about JTD, from the vinyl smiles to the tacky routines and feigned "pop" aura, looks strained and synthetic.Any night of the week one could see more sponaneous attractive and skilled disco dancing by just peeking in at a disco spot, or going to a Travolta movie. Whatever serious claim upon the attention of dance fans Feet First may have had in the past has been dissipated by the group's foray into the entertainment field, for which these dancers appear to have neither natural endowment nor aptitude.