Imagination, facility and wit are among the leading traits visible in the program of seven dances by Meriam Rosen being shown this week (through Sunday) at the University of Maryland's studio theater. The works, covering five years of creative activity, are performed by a dozen dancers who are students or alumni of the UM dance department. Two of Rosen's musical collaborators are fellow faculty members, composers Lawrence Moss and David Freivogel.
Among the most memorable pieces are the recent "Osmoregulators and All That," a mock-gothic phantasm with overtones of social comment to an amusing tape pastiche by Freivogel; "Three Times," a droll turn-of-the-century tintype to Henry Fillmore's trombone ditties; and "Veiled Gathering," a smoothly undulant trio to aptly aqueous music by Glenn Moore.
Rosen sometimes seems at a loss over what to do with her prolific ideas, beyond thinly varied repetition. And her work is oddly vacillating in style: "Esprit" appears to be modeled on Paul Taylor; "Nocturne/Nightscape" on Philobolus; "Osmoregulators" on Lar Lubovitch, and so forth. It would be interesting to see her develop a more distinctively personal choreographic signature. In the meantime, her fluency, fantasy and humor have their own rewards.