Everybody knows about the singing "girl groups -- the Shirelles, Supremes, et al.--but what about the "woman dances" that spring up unfailingly with each passing season?
"Woman dances" are those pieces of choreography created by women for a group of women--usually for four to eight. There is frequently an aura of awe, innocence or rapture about these dances, long stretches of gazing and smiling, and a good deal of gentle partnering of a non-sexual nature. These nymphs, goddesses or waifs savor flowing, curving gestures, and often are found reaching skyward or pressing their cheeks against the ground.
Last night at the YWCA Penney Auditorium, Dianne Hunt's contribution to this genre, "Light in Autumn," had its premiere.
Set to the repetitive, melancholy jazz piano of George Winston, this three-part dance unfurled slowly and reverently. Five women--Nancy Havlik, Caroline Reece, Patricia Rowland, Gail Minor Smith, Vicki Warren--dressed in autumn-hued tops and pants, wafted and leaped, came together and dispersed, moved in unison and then as individuals. These weavings were skillful and sometimes even stirring, but they went on far too long and without much direction.
Quite the opposite occurred during the premiere performance of Nancy Havlik's "Everything's Matter." Her dancers assume the roles of solid, liquid and gas, and carry the notion off in a quick and witty manner. Accompanied by three of Dave Brubeck's rhythmically infectious tunes, these "properties" burble, slide and slither about the space, on top of and under a table and around one another.
Rounding out the evening were Hunt's lyrical duet "Close," and her "Be More--Ascend!" in which goofy gestures and a soundtrack of classified ads collide to droll effect.
The program is to be repeated tonight at 8.