Dance was given featured attention in the concert of artistic collaboration, "Dance, Music and the Visual Arts," at Prince George's Publick Playhouse last night. The Rosewood/Hoffman Touring Ensemble, dancing to live piano, wind and voice accompaniment, was joined by Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company.
The most successful of Addison Hoffman's pieces, "An American With Beethoven," was also his most modest. The charm of this solo lay in the small scale of its conception and the ease of accomplishment. Set to the first movement of the Beethoven Sonata No. 26, the work featured a soft lyricism punctuated by occasional outbusts of exuberance. The spirit of Isadora Duncan, that other American who was inspired to work "with" Beethoven, was evoked in the liquidity of arms, the expressivity of fingertips and a vulnerability of the chest. Hoffman appeared genuinely moved--delighted and surprised--by the playfulness of the music. The result was dancing with an air of utter spontaneity.
Hoffman's other two works, listed on the program as previews, were seriously hampered by a seeming lack of rehearsal. "Pastorale et Arlequinade," a duet of the familiar kind of synchronous euphony, was very tentatively danced. Hindemith's "Die Martinslied," sung by Harry Burroughs, provided the accompaniment for a piece extremely puzzling in conception and execution.
Maida Withers presented the Finale of "Stall," familiar to Washington audiences from last fall's 9th Street Crossings Festival. Based on circular and semicircular patternings, the Finale is characterized by an inexorable flow of rhythm and wit. This energy ensures that traditional concepts of beginning, middle and end are inoperative here. The effect is that of a Japanese film in which all sense of narrative time vanishes.
The program will be repeated tonight at 8.