Dancers of Kinetics put best foot forward

April 12, 1994|By J. L. Conklin | J. L. Conklin,Special to The Sun

Kinetics, a dance troupe based in Howard County, has had its share of artistic ups and downs in its first 10 years. At a gala performance last Friday celebrating its 10th anniversary, the attractive and talented company proved it is on the upswing.

Under the artistic and executive direction of Ken Skrzesz, Kinetics is auspiciously poised for the future.

Friday's performance at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre featured Kinetics' professional and apprentice troupes. Four dances were choreographed by Mr. Skrzesz and one by company member Amanda Thom-Woodson.

Mr. Skrzesz's dances have an illustrative sheen. He communicates ideas and illuminates emotions, while creating spatially provocative works.

In his premiere of "Misa Criolla," the idioms of South American Folk Dance were presented in a straightforward manner to the music of Ariel Ramirez. The simplicity of the steps, the recurring motifs within a rhythmical framework and the spatial patterns created by the 11 dancers created an atmosphere of earthy spirituality.

Yet -- curiously for a program's closing work -- the dance, and consequently the performance, ended on a contemplative rather than a celebratory note.

"The Life and Times of . . ." by Ms. Thom-Woodson, was a quartet for three men and one woman. The dance is ripe for humorous situations, depicting the woman (Elizabeth Lowe Ahearn) and her revolving relations with the three men, Luke Loy, David Miller and Mr. Skrzesz. But in the final third of the dance, the characters are more attuned to Neal Woodson's music than each other. Ms. Woodson has more than one train of choreographic thought; unfortunately, they negate each other.

Mr. Skrzesz's opening dance, "Water Works," deftly combines two ideas: the forces of nature and the forces of human emotion. With the use of text, American folk songs and hymns and elegant, simple movements, Mr. Skrzesz's dancers effectively illustrate the strength and pull of both powers.

"Gesange des junge Liege" (Songs of Young Love) was smoothly performed by the apprentice dancers to the songs of )) Franz Schubert, sung with feeling by Ruth Skrzesz. Mr. Skrzesz gives his young dancers a formal, yet youthful, dance that displays their abilities to advantage. In fact, Mr. Skrzesz has done that for the entire company, and that's not a small feat.

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