"Landscape" the four-part work presented by June Finch and Dancers this past weekend at the Dance Place, indeed has to do with the disposition of masses in space, and with the relation of figure to ground, among other things. That, however, is the extent to which literal meaning can be attached to the title. At bottom, the choreography is focused on abstract qualities of movement.
Within this focus, "Landscape" breaks no new ground. Finch used to dance with Viola Farber, who in turn worked with Merce Cunningham, and Finch's choreography remains squarely within the Cunningham mold. The stretches, imbalances, falls and lifts clearly derive from Cunningham; so do the studio-like costumes and the use of music as collateral activity rather than accompaniment.
Nevertheless, Finch uses this largely derivative material with evident skill; inevitably she also gives it a certain amount of personal inflexion.
The activities of the four sections of "Landscape" -- "Runway," a trio; "Clearing," a duet; "Backfence," a solo for Finch; and "City Limits," for seven dancers -- variously apportioned the staged space into regions, lanes and pockets. "Clearing" hints at flirtation, and "City Limits" plays with distracted stares and exchanged glances, but for the most part interest centers on spatial pattern, tempo and dynamics. The performances -- Finch is an especially smooth, engaging dancer -- were cool, precise and fluent.