The concept of boundaries--who sets them, how we cope with them or escape from them--would seem a natural theme for a dance. Beth Easterly's five-part dance suite called "Boundaries," which the Current Dance Company presented this weekend at the Dance Coalition, explored various aspects of rules governing space in a theatrical way, largely ignoring the movement possibilities inherent in the theme.
Easterly is at her best when working with social commentary. In one section of "Boundaries," six dancers in rehearsal continually infringe on each other's territory. Because the dancers are women, the section becomes a wry observation of feminine behavior. The dancers murmur "excuse me" each time one lurches into another. Their tones and glances are the only indications of their frustration.
The problem with "Boundaries," as well as Easterly's duet "Chronicles," which closed the program, is that the actual movements look like afterthoughts. Not only are the steps themselves uninteresting, they're so random they look improvised.
In contrast, Maggie Meenehan combined idea and movement beautifully in her solo "Never Mind," set to an original score by Zach Swagger. To the repetitive, gently percussive music, Meenehan alternated small, fidgety hand gestures with large movements through space to create a portrait of a restless, indecisive yet resilient young woman.
Meenehan's choreography was engrossingly unpredictable. Her dancing was clear and energetic and her performing manner--particularly when she shot the audience a cheesy grin at the end--was charming without being coy.