Ellicott City ballet soars among styles

DANCE REVIEW

March 23, 1991|By J. L. Conklin

Gangsters, angels, Spanish senoritas and Gibson girls animated the Ellicott City Ballet Guild's eclectic program of dance styles last night at Howard Community College.

Under the artistic direction of Caryl Maxwell, the guild's performance showcased local talent as well as the choreography of guest artist Thomas Terry of New York City and guild faculty members Kathryn Cardy, June Smart and Ms. Maxwell.

From classical to modern to jazz to ballroom dance, the choreography was as varied as the dancers' talents.

Mr. Terry's "Guitar Concerto," to music by Vivaldi, opened the evening. This light classical romp in three sections featured revolving quartets, trios and duets peppered with humor. It was a pleasant and nicely crafted introduction.

Ms. Smart's restaging of "Paquita," while suffering in its unison .. work, was stronger in its solos. Kate Crews, Leigh Heffer, Anna Kirker and Elizabeth Smith charmed the audience with their careful and coquettish footwork.

Ms. Maxwell's nostalgic "The Easy Winners," set to three Scott Joplin tunes, demonstrated her strong musical and theatrical abilities. Several clever moments and interesting details emerged in this co

medic, ragtime work.

Unfortunately, Ms. Maxwell's large-scale "Symphony of Psalms," set to Stravinsky's music, gave chorus after chorus of moribund, static angels and a wooden performance

by Harding Westcott. While Ms. Maxwell certainly knows how to stage her dancers, the work lacked a depth of soul.

The guild will repeat the performance at 3 p.m. Sunday.

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