The Dance Transfer, newly under the artistic directorship of Ellen Gray Denker, presented its first concert of the season at the Publick Playhouse Friday night. The company danced well, looking fresh, eager and well rehearsed. Unfortunately, with the company's CETA grant about to expire, this first performance of the season may also be its last.
In its brief existence, Dance Transfer has been a valuable laboratory for young choreographers' experiments, and the concert included works by several area choreographers. Cathy Paine's "Bedtime Story," wherein a young women reading herself to sleep becomes entangled with the heroine of the novel (between performing her exercises and other bedtime rituals), is a witty piece that matches its music (Johann Samuel Schroeter's "Concerto in F Major for Hammered Harpsichord") perfectly. The work was enhanced by the performances of Denker as the dreamy heroine and Beth Spicer as the energetic isomniac.
Daniel West's "Stravinsky Quartet" (to that composer's "Concertino") sets Spicer, Christine Philion and Debra Ann Pollock to the task of trying to seduce a young man (Bill E. Lewis) who seems more interested in his beer and memories. The women pace and strike lascivious poses, cover the stage with big, jagged leaps and lunges, but nothing will entice the wistfully glowering Lewis away from his table.
The third work new to the company's repertory was Brooke Higdon's "Memoir" which, although unoriginal in movement and theme, was performed by Denker with smoothness and clarity.
Kathryn Posin's frantic, custesy "Bach Pieces" received a crisper performance than it deserved, and Nancy Galeota's lovely, playful "Tinabulations," also well-danced, completed the program.