THIS IS one of those jam-packed dance weekends, with a plethora of movement styles performed by local and imported artists. Herewith three choice events:
Fans of Martha Clarke's "Vienna Lusthaus" -- that alternately dreamy and nightmarish multimedia evocation of pre-World War I Vienna that played here two years ago -- will thrill to her "Garden of Earthly Delights." In fact, anybody with an imagination and a sense of humor should find something to admire in this brief, image- and sound-laden vision of Heaven and Hell. Inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's magical painting, Clarke and a company of 10 conjure up a realm of worldly excesses and celestial encounters.
Flying plays a large part in the action. Supported by wires, the performers soar and dip and cartwheel through space, making Peter Pan look like a novice. Clarke gives us everything from Adam and Eve in the garden to a graphic survey of the Seven Deadly Sins. Richard Peaslee's fanciful score and Paul Gallo's all-important lighting combine with the airborne and earthbound choreography in strange and wondrous ways.
The Kennedy Center's recently instituted "Washington Front and Center!" series is at last giving area artists the chance to perform in a well-known, mainstream venue. Tonight, the second dance concert of this series features the work of three very different choreographers: Lloyd Whitmore, Tish Carter and Pola Nirenska.
Whitmore, associate director of the D.C. Contemporary Dance Theater and a teacher at the Duke Ellington School, has both a lyrical and jazzy side, and seems to be working in an Alvin Ailey vein. Carter, more a performance artist than a dancer, has developed a group of pieces on subjects as diverse as the laws of physics, ancient myths, Victorian passion, Stonehenge and Einstein's theory of relativity, using a wealth of fascinating props, lighting devices and musical scores. Nirenska, the elder stateswoman of Washington's modern dance community, has in recent years produced a powerful collection of solos concerning war, memory, desire and death.
Gus Solomons Jr. has always reminded me of an aristocratic spider. Very tall, thin and prone to spikey, geometric movement, the respected dancer/choreographer/critic brings his New York-based company of six to Mount Vernon College to perform three recent works. A former soloist with the companies of Donald McKayle, Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham, Solomons favors a cool, architectural style of dancing, which is often created with specific sites in mind.
THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS --
Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 and 9:30. Warner Theater, 513 13th Street NW. Tickets $25.50, $19.50.
WASHINGTON FRONT AND CENTER! --
Friday at 7:30, Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets $10.
THE SOLOMONS COMPANY/DANCE --
Saturday at 8:30, Sunday at 6 at Mount Vernon College's Hand Chapel, 2100 Foxhall Road NW. Tickets $9, $6 for students and seniors. Call 331-3467.