a k a choreographers Tish Carter and Nancy Galeota -- has come up with some of the most alluring and intelligent dance and performance work to be seen locally. The two women create individually and collaboratively, and each has her specialty: Carter delights in objects, words and their relationship to movement, whereas Galeota emphasizes movement above all else.

The duo's concert Saturday night at Mount Vernon College was both provocative and disturbing. Visual and aural stimuli abounded, bizarre dialogues and monologues were spoken, and many themes and relationships were introduced. Yet despite these riches, neither choreographer managed consistently to develop and edit her work.

Galeota's pieces, the first two on the long program, consisted of a brief and affecting solo and a lengthy duet. "Open the Door: An introduction," featured the choreographer moving as if underwater from an eerily lit balcony. Dressed in white, accompanied by the plaintive voice of Irish folk singer Connie McKenna, Galeota seemed at times a seer, a mother, a grieving lover. "Motor Series: Ground Snake" began with a magical image of four iridescent legs and feet shuddering and entwining in a dim pool of light, a la Pilobolus. When the performers -- Carter and Mary Buckley -- revealed the rest of their bodies and started moving on a variety of levels, the dance lost its momentum and sense of illusion.

The wondrous objects Carter designs of her works' theatrical abundance; in fact, they proved to be the most compelling part of her three most recent pieces. But "Caught Between the Sixth and Seventh Key," a macabre exchange between two emotionally overwrought women (Buckley and Anne MacDonald); "A Classic Story: My Name Is Teddy Bear," a confrontational solo about incest; and the wordy, psychologically simplistic "Myths, Mystery, Dream and Stolen Lightning" failed to offer much in the way of inventive movement or dramatic motivation. What sticks in the mind are isolated, luminous images: an egg cracked on a mirror, a circle of tiny, sparkling pianos, Carter applying lipstick to her mouth, wrists and arms, a parasol with an airplane growing out of it. This is the stuff of which dreams are made.