This year's Georgetown Dance Series ended last night at Grace Church on a wonderful valedictory note--a program of solos, three premieres among them, by seven Washington choreographers, each (with one exception) danced by its creator. It was a reassuring evening in every way, a demonstration of the range and depth of terpsichorean talent hereabouts. If the choreography, not unexpectedly, had rather more ups and downs than the performances, the dancing itself was uniformly splendid.
A generalization in passing, reflective of the Washington scene: Three of the participants were male, four were female, with an identical division of black and white. Also evident was the area predilection for extra-choreographic reference--three of the titles had appended literary quotations; two pieces involved verbal declamation; and one used film.
Two works harked back to the purely "conceptual" art of a decade ago. Greg Reynolds' "Illuminations," which had him sitting stock still in Buddha posture while light played over his robed figure, examined stillness as a quality in itself and as a metaphor for inward contemplation. The concept comes from Paul Taylor's motionless duet of the mid-'50s and would have been more impressive without the excruciatingly kitschy music, but the piece made its point all the same. Beth Burkhardt's "Irish Bull," consisting of her taped commentary amidst total darkness, similarly explored the imaginative implications of a seemingly "empty" field.
The richest choreography was that of Cathy Paine's "Yesterday," a cleverly illustrated diary of the vicissitudes of a dancer's workaday life. The excerpt from Maida Withers' "Woman See," autobiographical in another sense, dealt with feminine consciousness in a collage of sensual imagery. Larry Warren's alienated "Another Voice" (danced by his wife, Anne), Alvin Mayes' bird-mimicking "Ibis" and Vincent Wineglass' anxiously questing "Koninonia," were distinguished more by eloquence of execution than distinction of design, but were scarcely less rewarding thereby. The program will be repeated twice today, at 5 and 8:30 p.m.