There's a kind of wispy naivete' about the choreography of Colette Yglesias that induces sympathy even for the many frailties of her work.
The resultant pieces, as seen in a concert by her dance company at the Church of the Epiphany Thursday night, are like childhood fantasies, except that they're invested with vaguely metaphysical overtones. Indeed, the newest one, "Turn Left at Twilight" -- for four female dancers in bright prints, with chairs, balloons and a mobile as props and music by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra -- looked like a dance equivalent of kindergarten games, though it strove for significance of other kinds.
In this and the evening's other two works, the movement vocabulary was rather antiquarian and meager, and the concepts nebulous. "The Inside Outside Eye," revised from an earlier version, is said to have been inspired by Camus' "The Stranger." It pits a fey poetic soloist (Yglesias) against two contrasting groups of gargoyles -- three spooks in capes and tall hats, and three mice-like creatures. Yglesias tries to break into both groups and is rebuffed by each in turn, lying curled up on the floor like a wounded insect at the end.
The more recent "In Other Words" is set to a "score" by Noah Creshevsky consisting of a tape of John Cage babbling in arcane fashion about the "state of confusion" in which we live. Like Cage's words, the dance is repetitive -- the four dancers fan out, converge, fan out again and so on. Maybe it's a piece about getting nowhere.
Yglesias, over almost a decade, has made a fine contribution to the Washington dance scene as a gifted performer with a special flair for lyricism. Since 1980, her Dance Arts Moving Arts organization has served, on its small scale, as a useful umbrella for local performances, workshops, film showings and master classes. The Colette Yglesias Dance Company has been in existence for less than two years, and Yglesias is its only outstanding member -- the dancing Thursday night was uneven. One has to wonder, from the caliber of work thus far exhibited, whether Yglesias' choreography alone can provide sufficient artistic sustenance for the troupe.