Perlo/Bloomsw & Company, the resident company at the Dance Place, has been without a home this winter while the new Dance Place building is being readied. But still the life of the company goes on at performances outside its familiar environs.
Saturday's performance at Slayton House in Columbia featured a premiere, a couple of revivals and company debuts.
Carla Perlo is shrewd in her acquisition of outside choreography, concentrating on dances that present different challenges for her dancers than does her own work. The company premiere of Bebe Miller's "No Evidence" seemed evidence of this rationale for the repertory. With its small gestural articulations, looseness of body joints, constant motion and swift variations in flow and dynamics, Miller's work is humorously quirky.
Perlo also attracts to her company some of the area's best dancers. Making her debut with the company, Kathy Wildberger (familiar as director of Baltimore's PATH Dance Company) seemed especially in her element in Miller's work, capturing its disjunctions and non sequiturs with insouciance. Also appearing with the company for the first time was former CODA director Ellen Gray Denker, who danced the revival of Nancy Galeota's "Flail." Denker's ability to invest movement with expressive depth makes her a mesmerising performer, particularly in passages of legato. The dynamic subtleties of "Flail," with its range of utter stillness to creamy flow, is particularly suited to Denker's gifts.
Other outstanding performances were turned in by Linda Garner Miller, a dancer of long, tapering lines who exudes a calm radiance, in Perlo's "Now You See Them," and Perlo herself in a revival of Kathy O'Brien's "Maua," a vignette requiring extremes of strength and control.
The performance also included Perlo's "In-Time," a work that accumulates dancers in each of its sections, and "Zone," an extended solo for David Holmes.
Steve Bloom, the company's percussionist codirector, was away from this performance, at work on the company's new space in Northeast. The new Dance Place will have an open house next Saturday with a full day of open classes and rehearsals followed by a party from 7 to 10 p.m.