Maryland Dance Theater has become known as a company of dancer's dancers--a troupe of highly polished technicians and stylists whose performances are on a consistently high level--by national standards. In concerts last weekend at the Dance Place, MDT's performers, two in particular, demonstrated this fact.
Vincent Wineglass is a small, wiry dancer of exceptional presence. Combining a sharp quickness in delineating movement and a feline grace in more lyrical passages, Wineglass captured attention from his first entrance. The luscious expressivity of his hands, arms and back--usually a forte of female dancers--accentuated his lovely stretched line.
Wineglass' choreographic venture, "Koinonia," with an epigraph from Galatians concerning frustration, was notable chiefly as a solo vehicle for the dancer's expressive virtuosity. The choreographer appeared to be taking his cues from several 20th-century dance classics with famous male roles. Nijinsky's "Afternoon of a Faun" was represented in the awakening of a sensuous creature and mirrored even in the famous stance of hands held parallel to the body with thumbs thrust away. Allusion was also made to the unforgettable begging scene of Balanchine's "Prodigal Son."
The stunning performances of Shawn McNesby also enlivened productions of "Brandenburg Concerto," Doris Humphrey's last work; "Damascene," Anne Warren's melodic series of duets, and Hannah Kahn's quirkily pleasant "Joint Venture." McNesby's obvious joy in dancing radiated throughout. Her breathy lift, easy ballon and mobile features were entirely captivating.
Larry Warren's familiar "Playlet," by now honed to perfection in its assemblage of arch looks and double takes, and Alvin Mayes' "Tall/Doll/Baseball," a troubling rendition of childhood traumas carried over as adult baggage, completed the varied program.