Dance on the Edge closes season with Pimsler's adventurous work

May 03, 1993|By J. L. Conklin | J. L. Conklin,Contributing Writer

Before Stuart Pimsler's dancers took one step to close the Dance on the Edge season at Towson State University this weekend, Mr. Pimsler explained his program of dances as having the thematic concern of relationships.

His Ohio-based company of two men and three women, the Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater, then proceeded to create an entertaining and enlightening evening of three works by choreographer Mr. Pimsler and company member Suzanne Costello.

From stand-up ruminations that comically charted his career from lawyer to dancer in "Joy" to the quiet and nostalgic paean to his mother in "Swimming to Celeste," Mr. Pimsler is a choreographic adventurer. Blending elements of dance and theater isn't new, but Mr. Pimsler's work is fresh.

Opening the evening was "Joy," where Mr. Pimsler wryly recalled events from his wonder years. Contrasting his droll monologue were his movements that wittily elaborated his musings with dances learned from puberty to young adulthood.

"The Men from the Boys" was a duet for Mr. Pimsler and Philip Whiteis that explored macho rituals. Using visualization techniques that soon turned grisly, the pair challenged one another through a series of gruesome games that evolved into a duet of dying actions culled from Westerns and gangster movies.

Ms. Costello's well-crafted abstract dance, "Running Scenes," finely danced by Kathy Carbone, Brenda Divelbliss, Mr. Whiteis, Ms. Costello and Mr. Pimsler, extracted the possibilities of relationships in its sparse athletic framework.

The swimming pool set by Ronald Aiji Kajiwara dominated the stage in "Swimming to Celeste." Set to music by John Adams that wends in and out, the work for three women is haunting and beautiful. The concept of water as metaphor pervades the dance.

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