It was Terace Jones' night last night at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts' annual dance concert.
From his first moment on the stage, the depth and breadth of his talents were galvanically clear. With a control and finesse beyond his years, Jones has tamed his endlessly long limbs into clean, classical lines. His attitude is a breathtaking arc, his jumps and turns are impressive for their speed and height, his split leaps are just about perfect.
Even in the technically difficult solo from "La Fille Mal Garde'e," Jones maintained poise and polish.
When he graduates from Ellington this spring, Jones will be going on to a scholarship at the School of American Ballet. This bit of biography formed the basis for "Some, Too Many, Miss, and Other Things . . . Sort of a Story," a vehicle for Jones by guest choreographer Mike Malone, founder of the Ellington dance program.
"Some, Too Many" is an updating of the "Gotta Dance" sequence from "Singin' in the Rain," in which Gene Kelly plays a rube who experiences the terrors of New York City but who finally succeeds on his own merits.
This is what happens to Jones in Malone's ballet, and judging from the talents displayed last night, it should also be true in real life.
The concert, which took place in Ellington's handsome new theater, also featured the talents of Melissa Gilbert, notable for her dynamic range, and of Ronald Willis and Troy Brown, who both displayed volcanic reserves of energy.