The organization known as Dance Arts/Moving Arts has had the good sense to inaugurate a performance series in its dressed-up gymnasium space at the top of the Church of the Epiphany. Last night, four local choreographers -- Theresa Barry, Beth Burkhardt, Elly Porter and Colette Yglesias -- exhibited equally good sense by presenting their extremely different works on a single program.
All six dances were performed in the round andwere relatively abstract in nature, but they shared little common ground. Yet certain comparisons can be made. Take, for example, the seemingly simple notion of a body spinning through space; here's how the three interpreted that notion:
Burkhart turned a slow spin into a ritual -- a hackneyed, nonspecific display with a drummer, a chanting woman, a floor littered with bonelike sculptures and the choreographer herself, who whirled dazedly while dressed in a filmy gown and gray face paint.
Barry opened her "Things Fall Apart" with three dancers spinning close together, whipping their heads sharply around in response to a burbling electronic score. This initial interaction established a sharp, rhythmic tone for the rest of this complex, but occasionally meandering, work.
In her solo "Chaconne," Yglesias used one almost continuous, lyrical spin to express rapture and to create a hypnotic vortex of movement.
Certainly the most ambitious and unpredictable dance of the program was Porter's "Ring the Changes." As Charlie Trapp's magical, bell-filled score played, four women went through a series of mesmerizing interactions that called to mind Eastern customs.
The program will be repeated at 8 tonight and at 3 Sunday.