Diane Floyd and Sharon Wyrrick are dancer-choreographers in Washington who have formed troupes of their own in recent seasons. Last weekend, Floyd's Saturday Company and Wyrrick's Full Circle shared a bill at the Dance Place; the four dances by each group included a new solo apiece by Wyrrick and Floyd. By and large, the two artists seem opposite in virtues and weaknesses. The most persuasive thing about the Saturday Company is the dancing of Floyd herself; the choreographic side looks uncrystallized. In Wyrrick's case, it is the choreography that commands admiration, and its strengths seem greater than those of the performers.
Floyd, who's been active here since 1977 with such troupes as Dance Construction Company, Cathy Paine and Dancers, and most recently, Dance Exchange, is a strikingly individual and appealing dancer. Her technical control is exemplary and she can use her solid, rounded figure to convey simultaneously a sense of weight, elasticity and flow. These qualities were certainly in evidence in her new solo, "Roses in December," an angst-filled soliloquy set incongruously to Debussy's exotic flute solo, "Syrinx." But both the solo itself and the three older works for the Saturday Company are hackneyed in movement and unclear in motivation. A program note emphasized the improvisatory and collaborative nature of the troupe's efforts; the trouble is, the results lack clarity of form and purpose.
Wyrrick is a skilled dancer in her own right, leaning toward the gently lyrical. Her new solo, though--"Fix," to an arresting Anthony Davis score, the whole very reminiscent of Lucinda Child's "Relative Calm" solo--could have done with a more incisive performance. Her choreography, on the other hand, in the solo as well as the beguilingly patterned group pieces--"Visitor," "Task" and "Flux"--is inventive, engrossing, and on a par with the most promising contemporary work in Washington.
Not all of it is well-edited, and there's an unfortunate tendency toward the saccharine, but this is dance composition that seems to evolve convincingly from the internal kinetic and expressive impulses of its generating material--"Visitor" is particularly successful. An added bonus is Wyrrick's ear for musical quality--the scores by Davis, Robert Ashley and Teddy Klaus serve the dances well and are interesting on their own terms.