It's been several years since I've seen work by Greg Reynolds, but my impression after this past weekend's program by his Dance Quintet at the downtown YWCA is little altered. Reynolds' talent, whatever its extent, is less for choreography per se than for theatrical pictorialization and charade. In any case, the program, labeled "Rituals," was so motley and thin, it's hard to know what dictated the choice of material.
The most compelling item was "Three Dances," performed solo by Reynolds to music by Stravinsky, and it owed its fascination not to any formal choreographic virtues but to the gnomic expressionism, often in profiled posture, of Reynolds' dancing. The other most "dancy" work, "Down Home" to Ives, was more a study in theatrical punning -- on the idea of dancers as string quartet players -- than a unified movement composition. The rest of the program included not one but two pieces to the overworked Pachelbel "Canon," one ("Quintet") a rudimentary abstraction and the other ("The Maiden's Dream") a promiscuously saccharine love duet vaguely alluding to "The Song of Solomon." Completing the program, "Autumn Fest" and "Sonata for Eyes" were static, obscure ceremonies notable, at best, for graphic oddities like the witch doctor get-up in the latter. In all this repertoire, the performers mostly clicked from one pose to another like a slide show -- rhythmic pulse and an instinct for dance continuity were strangely absent.