For a troupe just getting off the ground, the Triple Time Dance Company displays a number of promising characteristics. Its trio of directors -- choreographers Paula Gross and Deborah Kanter and composer/musician Teddy Klaus -- is firmly committed to the simultaneous creation of music and movement, and to the use of live sound whenever possible. Though their dancers' abilities differ greatly, they've managed -- at least in this past weekend's debut program at the YWCA -- to shape their work around a specific theme: the rights and rituals in women's lives.
A host of images and situations filtered across the stage Saturday evening, some intriguing, some comical, others rather trite. The first portion of the concert focused on Gross' impressions of African women with whom she came in contact while doing field work in Ghana. Each of the three dances contained striking moments -- arms twisted into bird shapes, languidly rolling hips, a sextet beating invisible clothing against imaginary rocks and an ominous, flexed-footed woman wrapping a younger one in a long narrow strip of material. Klaus' rhythmically complex streams of drumming and his use of a homemade set of wooden xylophones, maracas and gongs suited the movement beautifully.
The plight of the contemporary American woman served as the focus of the second half. Gross dealt jazzily, but sketchily, with the way in which young girls can be swallowed up by fashions and fads. In "Executive Suite," Kanter examined four business types and their fantasy lives (exemplified by slinky lingerie pulled out of attache' cases) and, in "Needles and Lace," presented a trio's conflicting responses to their approaching wedding days. Meade Andrews' and Laura Quill's "Tandem" offered a slow, haunting look at the way an upraised hand can become a plea, an assertion, a coy gesture and more.
The simplest and most successfully executed dance was one in which Klaus (a non-dancer but still an appealing presence) and Kanter, dressed in '50s garb, manipulated a stage full of toys while their taped voices spun out a stream of hackneyed domestic advertising slogans. They ended by sitting before a huge old TV, gazing at a video image of an ideal suburban home.