WENDY WOODSON and Achim Nowak, who head up the artistic organization known as Present Company, are both tall, slender, sharp and very funny.
Woodson's training is in dance, Nowak's in acting, and so it follows that their collaborations should fall into that murky terrain known as "movement/theater." They present highly stylized passages of everyday movement (as opposed to recognizable dance steps), and mysterious, often repetitive oral monologues and dialogues delivered by compelling and equally mysterious characters. Sometimes there's music, other times some other sort of pre-recorded sound, plus intriguing sets, slides and other theatrical matter.
This weekend, Woodson and Nowak offer the premiere of "Visiting Hours," a work conceived and developed last summer at The Yard, a Massachusetts colony for the performing arts. Featuring a cast of New York actors and dancers, the piece concerns six characters in a non-specified "institution," and follows their dealings with each other and the members of the "staff."
If it's pure dance you're after, you might stop over at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts auditorium and take in the joint performances by Perlo/Bloom and Toe Jam and Fresh Jelly.
The Perlo/Bloom company has never looked so good. The dancers are the strongest that director Carla Perlo has yet assembled, and the repertoire has wisely been expanded to include the works of sophisticated choreographers such as Bebe Miller.
And Toe Jam -- a.k.a. dancers Donna Gangloff and Mary Williford -- looks as lithe and electric as ever. Gangloff's movement style suggests taffy, Williford's exposed nerve endings. They'll dance two duets: a quirky romp by Miller, and a moving essay on sisters by Susan Marshall. PRESENT COMPANY -- In "Visiting Hours," Friday at 8, Saturday at 7 and 10, Sunday at 3 and 8, New Playwrights' Theater, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets $12. Call 783-0360. PERLO/BLOOM & COMPANY and TOE JAM & FRESH JELLY -- Friday and Saturday at 8, Duke Ellington School of the Arts Auditorium, 3500 R St. NW. Tickets $8, $7 for students and senior citizens. Call 269-1600.