Choreographer Gregg Reynolds' naivete' -- or is it sheer audacity? -- knows no bounds. He expected a paying audience attending his company's concert last night at the Washington Project for the Arts to accept countless delays, inferior lighting cues, two intermissions, lengthy verbal apologies for unfinished work, and the dismally unpolished work itself with nary a sigh or groan. Luckily for him and his brave little troupe, the audience complied.
Reynolds is one of the puzzlements of the Washington dance community. A former member of Paul Taylor's company, he flashes his beatific smile and moves in a clear but absolutely anemic manner, as if the expenditure of any undue energy might do him in. His dances fall into several categories: low-level, ultra-diluted versions of Taylor's abstract ballets set to music of the Baroque era, near-static duets about tormented love affairs, and "satirical" works lacking in the timing and panache that such creations demand.
On this particular program, Category One was filled by the saccharine "Streamers" and "Essence." The less-than-torrid romance, "Ages," featured Reynolds, in a white skirt, gesturing on a pedestal while his lover (Lisa Foehr) stood mourning below. And "Handel Dances," at this point a mere sketch of a work, attempted to blend revival meetings, war imagery and a wedding ceremony with selections from the "Messiah." "A Fear Not of One", Erika Thimey's stark, Martha Graham-influenced quartet received a strong performance by Foehr, Shelley Mitchell, Grace Villanueva and Carolyn Yaney--the sole glimmer of professionalism in an evening of excess and excuses.
The program will be repeated tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m.