The haunted atmosphere of the old Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park was an appropriate setting for Sunday's concert that opened the 1981 Chautauqua Season for the Glen Echo Dance Theater. The juxtaposition on the program of four pieces by local choreographers so radically different in temperament provided the viewer with an experience boardering on the surreal.
Carla Perlo's "Views" has about it the aura of a French film detailing the mores of modern lovers. In this duet of threatening sensuality. Perlo and Philip Andre Baltazar tentatively touch, then intertwine limbs, erotically yet fiercely. The movement is a mixture of Oriental languor and American daring. In "Scale," Cissy Whipp also deals with anxiety, though more abstractly. Exploring the fine line between balance and imbalance, three dancers equilibrate fragile structures through carefully set countertensions. There is the unrealized threat that one slip could collapse this house of cards.
By contrast, the milieu of Cathy Paine's "Bedtime Story" and Pola Nirenska's "Double Concerto in D Milnor" is sweetness and dreams come true. Paine deals with this theme literally in her explorations of a young girl's fantasy life tenanted by a fairy princes. Nirenska's dance, familiar to local audiences, is in style and theme reminiscent of Doris Humphrey's evocations of social utopia.