For those looking for Christmastime choreography less theatrical than the traditional "visions of sugarplums," the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop presented "A Day for Dancing" last night at the B.B. French School on Capitol Hill. The spirit of the program was homey, and selections ranged from a musical prelude of Purcell and Bach airs played on wind instruments and harpsichord to a bit of jazz ballet and an acrobatic display. The undoubted high point of the performance was a set of seven dances set to carols, which added a liturgical touch to the familial proceedings.
Erika Thimey used the church processional as the underlying form of her choreography. With the solemn steps, though, there was often a countercurrent of lively arms and supple torsos. Each carol had distinct movement themes and in the second one--"A Rose Is Blooming"--Thimey, by opening and expanding gestures of cradling and praying, developed an especially fine continuum of movement.
It isn't often that small dance groups like Capitol Hill's have the stimulus of live musicians, and the interplay between singers, instrumentalists and dancers in a small performing space added to the holiday cheer. Marcia Kravis conducted the musicians, and Sally Crowell was the performance coordinator and charming emcee.