Path's 'Loose Limbs' displays diversity of talent in Baltimore

DANCE REVIEW

May 07, 1991|By J. L. Conklin

Path Dance Company, under the direction of Kathy Wildberger, presented "Loose Limbs" last weekend at St. John's Church in Baltimore. The collection of eight works by local choreographers was enlightening -- not only did it show the diversity of dance in this city, but it also underlined the scarcity of performing space for emerging artists.

Binnie Ritchie Holum opened the evening with a charismatic, fresh, honest and heart-warming solo "Wind," to Bette Midler's popular song, "Wind Beneath My Wings." Her movements were taken from deaf sign language but presented with full body expression that wonderfully mirrored and magnified the lyrics.

"Lion's Den," Ms. Holum's theatrically inclined and funny duet for herself and cellist Tim Anderson, provided comedic jabs at both "interpretive" dance and audience members who would rather talk than watch a performance.

Of the program's two ballets -- Janette Murphy's "Night Transit" and Kathi Ferguson's "Three Sisters" -- the latter was more successful, even though it contained major flaws. Performed by Cynthia Bernshausen, Leslie Bradley and Ethel Leslie to a rich score by Ernst Chausson, the work lacked dramatic definition. The audience was left without a clue as to the personalities or differences between the women.

"In Between It All," a funky tap number by Ilona Kessell, had a modern dance approach with contrasting elements of high energy and stillness. Leslie Weiss Tinios presented two contemporary works -- a short and humorous post-recession solo, "After the Crash," and a gesture-based quartet, "A Slip of the Tongue."

The program closed with Chris Dohse's performance work, "Anyone Who Can Pick Up a Frying Pan Owns Death," which focused on the politics of AIDS.

While Mr. Dohse and his group of eight performers often created emotionally potent and artistically intriguing images, too often the space between these highlights was filled with meandering detours that diluted the impact of the work.

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