DANCE REVIEW : First-Rate Kaleidoscope in a First Visit

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Call it Dance Kaleidoscope West: the first visit by the annual showcase series to the intimate Strub Theatre at Loyola Marymount University. Besides four previously reviewed offerings, the Sunday performance included one duet and four solos showcasing first-rate dancing and choreography that didn’t always clearly express the themes described in the program booklet.

“Solid-State Hyperthermia,” for instance, seemed less “a postmodern examination of social dance” than a chance for Naked With Shoes dancer-choreographers Anne Goodman and Jeff Grimaldo to parody courtship rituals and have fun with their disparity in height. (The lady is tall, her partner not.) Vintage Glenn Gould recordings provided classy accompaniment but the result may have stayed too inflexibly mock-cute.

To machine-gun percussion by Frank Cox, “Decaffeinated” detailed the skills of a superbly articulate body: San Diego dancer-choreographer Lorna Dunn, who looked as if she could do any thing except define her creative agenda: tracing a breakdown in the relationship between music and dance.


In “Bryophyllum,” to music by Larry A. Attaway, soloist Lisa K. Lock crouched on the tips of her pointe shoes, slowly clawing the air and sometimes hanging off free-standing pole units. Resembling a crustacean on the prowl, she demonstrated meticulous control of body-sculpture and a potent imagination.

Performed with sweetness and refinement, Moonea Choi’s solo “Restraint” provided a short course in the beauties of traditional Korean dance: breath rhythms that make the shoulders open and the arms float weightlessly upward, calligraphic manipulation of colored sashes or scarves in the air, fluid multiple turns in which the dancer’s billowing robe extends the shape of her movements beyond her body almost like an aura.

The sense of spirituality that fabric can attain in dance also graced “Isaac Wanted,” a Scott Heinzerling solo to music by Arvo Part, which received one of the great Kaleidoscope performances from Lewitzky veteran John Pennington. Bare-chested in a sand-colored dervish skirt, Pennington brought overwhelming power to the bold contrasts between spinning passages and violent runs, slides and falls in this study of emotional torment.

* Dance Kaleidoscope resumes Saturday with a one-hour children’s program at 10 a.m. (tickets: $7-$10) and a world dance program at 8 p.m. (tickets: $12-$17.50) in the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. (213) 466-1767.