The title of the new Murray Spalding work being danced at the Corcoran Gallery this week sounds like a riddle. Actually it describes the piece. "From a King of Queen, Around, All the Same It Seems" plays its dancers like cards from a deck and uses round motions, circling and turning, as its major theme. Fortunately, the title is unflattering; it doesn't seem all the same. Despite the deliberately repetitive deals of key movements and patterns, the choreography is amply developed and effectively varied.
Spalding has thrown down the guantlet to such virtuoso engineers of pattern dances as Laura Dean and Jan Van Dyke and emerges from the match valiantly and with individuality. The movement is pure but not formalistic. Feeling suffuses it. A long, brilliant solitaire for Colette Yglesias becomes a theme and variations on being alone. The pairings of Debra Ann Pollock and W. David Cohen are distinct encounters, and the women's duets and quartets as well as the ensembles generate moods that allude to the melancholy Hindu flute motifs, country pluck and transcendental adagios of Georg Deuter's meta-Wagnerian music.
Yet the choreographer didn't trust herself to do a true dance piece. As security blanket, Spalding took comic figures from a recent theater piece to act as the players at this card party. They obtruded.