Highlights among visiting attractions included three sterling presentations in the Smithsonian's American Dance Experience series--a tribute to tap dancer Honi Coles with the master himself and the Jazz Tap Ensemble; the area debut of the David Gordon Pick-Up Company, showing that the avant-garde can be both funny and very human; and a splendid evening with Edward Villella and guest dancers in homage to Balanchine. At the Dance Place, the Rosalind Newman company from New York made a powerful impression in its first area appearance with imaginative choreography danced to sleek perfection.
The Pennsylvania Ballet was especially impressive during its May visit, all the more so in view of its organizational upheavals (see "Dance Comings and Goings," G1).
Choo San Goh's newest work for the Washington Ballet, the entrancing "In the Glow of the Night," stands high on the list of indigenous accomplishments. Impressive creative contributions also came from Pola Nirenska, Larry Warren, Cathy Paine and Sally Nash, and among the younger generation of Washington choreographers, both Sharon Wyrrick and Daniel West seemed to be advancing formidably in scope and command. Lastly, former Washingtonian Jan Van Dyke made a return to her old haunt, the Dance Place (she founded it as the Dance Project), with a characteristically thoughtful new work.