It was variety night at the Dance Place on both Saturday and Sunday, with in-house talent providing all the choreography. The performers' techniques were basically modern, but put to uses so different that only two pieces bore a family resemblance.
Lisa Foehr's "Appalachia" and Lori Sundeen's "Nebraska Summer" were both adventurous in exploiting classroom skill to create regional character portraits. Foehr's sole woman was an earthy type, given to langorously sullen moments of rocking and stretching as well as to outbursts of playful jumping and angry stamping. It was remarkable how well virtuosity served as characterization. Sundeen's twosome were dreamy girls, but some of their steps were too neatly arranged to sustain the impression of spontaneity.
To the distilled mood of Chris Beaven, Betsy Eagen created compressed movement of deliberate tension for three female figures in "Emilance." The work's impact was not quite commensurate with the considerable effort.
Humor had its dance place in the swift spirals and loops of Martha Brim's mock glamorous ballroom adagio with Richard Martinez, and in the suave slapstick of the Les Girls team of Rooney, Kennedy and Swarthout. Sherry Dunn's eccentric characle was limp, and Lynn Bock and Vicki Warren didn't quite meld domesticity and dance neoclassicism to William Boyce's first symphony.