4-dance Path Company program shines with refreshing honesty

March 09, 1991|By J.L. Conklin

In a time when super-hype and glitz overshadow fundamental sensibilities, Baltimore's Path Dance Company is refreshingly basic and honest in its approach to dance.

Local choreorapher, dancer and artistic director Kathy Wildberger presented a program of dances at the Baltimore High School for the Arts last evening to a disappointingly small but nevertheless appreciative audience.

All four dances choreographed by this gifted artist shine with autobiographical material and a sense of parable. Even when the dance is abstract as "Winter Dances," the movement's impetus is clearly visible.

"Big Talk" is a humorous look at communmication problems, and "Baby Face" gives a knowing nod to childrearing problems.

Ms. Wildberger's latest work, "The Health and Happiness Show," combines American Gothic with 1990s reality.

Set in back-to-back vignettes with Ms. Wildberger acting as impresario--she doles out the costumes to her five dancers-- this new work is a satirical survey of women's roles. From hard-working pioneer women to brides and brazen hussies, Ms. Wildberger's work is a parade of faded role models.

Ms. Wildberger fills her dances with eccentric costumes, a variety of props and often comic situations that everyone can identify with, although at times she stretches a point to its limits.

The strongest work of the evening, "Winter Dances," danced by Mrs. Wildberger and Sandra Lacey (one of the area's finest modern dancers) demonstrates the choreographer's ability to encapsulate emotion in the narrow framework of the gesture.

The work in two sections ably depicts the familiar elements of the season. Ms. Wildberger effectively captures the beauty and joy of a snowfall, and Ms. Lacey draws on the crystalline elements of ice.

Path Dance will repeat its performance aat 8 o'clock tonight and at 3 p.m. Sunday.

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