Presenting every kind of modern dance from a reconstructed 50-year-old solo to new works flirting alternately with the commercial world and the avant-garde, the "Prime Moves" series moved to Caltech's Ramo Auditorium on Friday with a six-part program.
Hae Kyung Lee's striking "Distant Voices" found Claudia Lopez dancing in slow motion on one side of the stage while James Kelly twitched and flailed at high speed on the other. Though they never noticed one another, their simultaneous solos frequently intersected: Lopez and Kelly would look up at the same time or reach out or touch their bodies in unison, even if otherwise isolated.
Also linking and engulfing their actions: enough fog or smoke to be actionable under the state's new smoke-in-the-workplace regulations. As it billowed into the front rows, it nearly left this observer breathless, but its constant motion did allow Stephen Bennett's lighting effects to emerge as equal to choreography and performance in the pictorial impact of the piece.
A revision of Stephanie Gilliland's "Swoon" again found four dancers collapsing onto one another in many, many different ways as they moved around and over a central platform. The climactic acceleration, physical daring and use of women to support their partners emerged with greater force on Friday than in the work's premiere a year ago--but the intimate Ramo Auditorium also served the choreography better than the original outdoor venue.
Frit and Frat Fuller's new "Listen to the Rhythm" for their KIN Dance Company explored racism using the classic American image of neighbors divided by a picket fence. The initial confrontations of the six-man cast proved purposeful and often imaginative, but the conflict resolved itself with ridiculous ease. Moreover, the notion that racial violence breeds tolerance may need rethinking. More on target: the Fullers' high-energy, all-male showpiece "Stomp" from 1992.
Previously reviewed pieces also included Jane Dudley's 1944 character study "Cante Flamenco," danced with impressive authority by Bonnie Oda Homsey of Los Angeles Dance Theatre, plus Winifred R. Harris' recent "And Through Their Eyes I See," splendidly performed by five women from her Between Lines company.