Sometimes a painter just needs to draw, or an orchestral musician must seek out the intimacy of a chamber group. This turning inward is the obvious impetus for Sean Curran's solo dance work. An evening's worth of these introspections were performed Saturday at Gunston Theatre Two as part of the Arlington Cultural Affairs Innovators Series.
Curran's larger career credits include important work with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the dance-percussion troupe Stomp and his own company. Much of this experience, naturally, finds its way into both the technical and textual content of his solos. The central movement of "Am I Dead Yet," for example, relates the deathbed scene of Arnie Zane's passing and contains distant echoes of Bill T. Jones's "Still/Here." Other works, by his own account, just concentrate on channeling his choreography, most often performed by other dancers, through the admittedly eccentric medium of Curran's own body and movement style.
That style is both energetic and precise. While Curran's body has no classic lines to speak of, his movement is informed by a great deal of training in ballet, modern dance and even Irish step dancing. The program's opening work, solo excerpts from "Five Points of Articulation," was filled with frenetic vacillations between these influences. A judicious choice of score and an appealing, minimalist slide show in the background softened the otherwise rather nervous effect.
In the end, Curran dances, tells and mimes his life story in these little movement soliloquies. They are as often about dance as about events. He has the artistic poise, by and large, to keep these intimacies entertaining and accessible.