Just a few blocks north of Dupont Circle lies The Joy of Motion, a tiny dance studio run by Michelle Ava and her husband, Robert Teri. This enterprising pair has organized the Dupont Circle Dance Series, an ongoing lineup of performances that offers local and out-of-town choreographers both a forum and a floor, and spectators a cozy, inexpensive means of viewing dance.

Sadly, the first offering of this series--last night's program of solos by five area dancemakers--proved, for the most part, lackluster and shallow. Diverse as the pieces were, their creators could all use a course in the basics of structure, point of view, the lexicon of coherent movement and personal style.

Only David Holmes Jr. made complete use of the minuscule space and projected a vital, well-disciplined presence. His "Phases," to music by Stevie Wonder, had him arcing, lunging and smiling in a fluid, though predictable, jazzy manner.

Greg Reynolds' "Life: The Five Stages of Man" combined fitfully interesting sacred and secular gestures, but stalled due to Reynolds' oddly static performance.

Laurie Cameron played "Eris," goddess of discord, by manipulating a long white scarf in myriad, slightly humorous ways and by playing musical rocking chairs with violist Malcolm Russ.

Teri, dressed in camouflage garb, presented his dance interpretation of the Vietnam war experience, replete with contractions, paranoid looks, lotus positions and a score of Cambodian flutes and airplane noises.

Ava, the most narcissistic, derivative and one-dimensional choreographer around, presented her version of stomp-and-spin-to-Steve-Reich, and an idiotic improvisation involving radios, music stands, an extension cord, body gyrations and a sign that read "Please do not flush during performance." Enough said.