THERE ARE many dance studios doing good work in the Washington area, but outside of myriad "Nutcrackers" and seasonal school recitals, one rarely has the opportunity to see full-fledged performances by studio personnel. However, this weekend, the Center Dance Company, the performing arm of the Arlington Center for Dance, will show off the versatility of its faculty members and students with a program that ranges from classical ballet to rhythm tap.
The Arlington Center's philosophy is that strong ballet training provides an excellent foundation for any type of dancing. Ballet at its most traditional will be represented by faculty member Andrea Price's staging of three variations and the finale from "Les Sylphides." A more contemporary ballet style can be seen in Karen Menter's "Concerto for Five," a sleek suite of dances set to music by Bach.
The three "modern" selections on this program could not be more different, and yet they share the same choreographer, Andrea Watkins of the University of Massachusetts. Set to Randy Newman's atmospheric score for the movie "Ragtime," "Dance Gallery" consists of five moving "portraits" -- seascape, abstract, landscape, pen and ink, and mountain stream. "Interior Windows," a solo, focuses on the conflicts that occur when a woman must play multiple roles. And "Going Fourth" is a light, Americana-filled spoof.
Jitterbug and rhythm tap are the main ingredients of artistic director Kathryn Fredgren's "Impromptu," a four-movement work that employs the combined talents of the studio's young dancers and faculty members.
CENTER DANCE COMPANY -- Saturday and Sunday at Thomas Jefferson Community Theater, Old Glebe Road and S. 2d Street, Arlington. Tickets $5, $3 for children. Call 920-4340.