A LOT OF YOUNGER performers have recently taken an interest in older forms of entertainment, such as clowning, vaudeville and variety show acts. These artists aren't merely on a nostalgia trip; they're also injecting these forms with their own contemporary perspectives. The Flying Karamazov Brothers juggle chainsaws, cats and eggs while emitting an endless stream of patter and puns. Bill Irwin's clowning is one part Pierrot, one part Buster Keaton, and one part post-modern intellect-rousing.
As for Charles Moulton, well, he's absolutely uncategorizable. A former member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Moulton is probably best known for his "ball games," in which various-sized teams of dancers pass brightly colored rubber balls back and forth with lightning precision. And they dance, too, with vitality, speed, rhythmic finesse and extreme good humor.
Moulton has also taken a stab at the "variety show" format, creating a slightly wigged-out revue of tap dances, comic routines and stunts. And then there are his just-plain- dances, which tend to be highly athletic, funny, romantic and never dull.
Saturday night at George Mason University -- whose dance department has a knack for presenting the best and the brightest on the contemporary dance scene -- Moulton and company will make their Washington debut, unveiling three new works done in collaboration with musicians Scott Johnson and A. Leroy. CHARLES MOULTON DANCE COMPANY -- Saturday at 8 at George Mason University Harris Theater, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax. Tickets $10, $5 for students and seniors. Call 425-3900.