One wants to like the Jason Taylor Dance Theatre. The eight dancers are engaging and high-spirited, with technical weaknesses and performance strengths. Their concert Saturday night at the Market Five Gallery had the feeling of a friendly, family affair. Unfortunately, the six works on the program (five by Taylor and one by Jimmy Thurston) were weak in both choreography and execution.
The best of the lot was Taylor's "Rainbow," a full-company showpiece that provided plenty of movement opportunities for the dancers. The work was coherent and, if it didn't have a theme, at least it had a pretext: happy dancers dressed in rainbow-colored costumes.
The two dramatic works on the program did not fulfill the promise of their themes. Taylor's "Victims" presented four men as tormented victims of society, but the work relied on audience recognition of stock characters without exploring the problems of those characters enough to elicit sympathy.
Thurston's "Echo and Narcissus" was a bizarre paraphrase of the Greek myth and contained long passages of pointework that surpassed Echo's capabilities.
A solo called "The Pan Piper" emphasized Glen Whaley's weakness in turns rather than allowing him to show the stretch and lithe elegance that make him the company's most talented dancer.