It's always difficult to transfer a modern dance work to a ballet company, especially when it's as quirky a piece as Paul Taylor's "Cloven Kingdom." In its performance last night -- the last of the run -- the Joffrey Ballet did a more than creditable job with this brilliantly absurd movement essay, but the troupe could go a lot further. Being ballet dancers, they have trouble with the awkwardness and weightiness involved, and they also lack that wry, slightly kinky edge that Taylor's company has perfected to a fare-thee-well.
Then there's the case of a dance letting its dancers down. Gerald Arpino's "Suite Saint-Sae ns," a ballet that is as esthetically nourishing as a glob of marshmallow fluff, succeeds solely on the basis of the Joffrey dancers' considerable appeal. Against a backdrop that reminded this viewer of a lung X-ray tinted blue, Arpino sets 20 dancers romping, prancing and posing in the most cliche'd, unmusical way imaginable. Devoid of flow and dynamic shading, this is a dance full of nothing but photo opportunities.
"Night," Laura Dean's mesmerizing whirl fest, and William Forsythe's flashy, lurid "Love Songs" completed the program.