New troupe begins well

November 07, 1994|By J. L. Conklin | J. L. Conklin,Special to The Sun

A full house of well-wishers greeted local choreographer and performer Nancy Wanich-Romita and her newly formed dance troupe, the Moving Company, Saturday night at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Her program of six dances featured two premieres -- her "Flight" and Scott Rink's "Two Eyes Crying."

Ms. Wanich-Romita is a concept choreographer -- give her an idea, and she'll build a dance. Her gesture-based works are often generated from a specific emotion and tend to blur the line between dance and theater. Having a foot in both worlds is not always to the best advantage of either. Ms. Wanich-Romita's fine sense of humor, however, is often able to keep her works afloat.

Her opening piece, "Flight," zeroed in on the fear of flying. The dance was out of balance: It lacked thematic development but was overdeveloped dramatically. Alex Sidorowicz accompanying the dance with his clarinet was fine, Mr. Sidorowicz performing as part of the dance was a distraction. But there are plenty of ideas in "Flight" to be explored.

"Two Eyes Crying," to the music "Contigas de Amigo," by Martin Kodax, was a soulful sojourn into the world of memory. Dana J. Martin, the focal character, unlocks a world of remembrances. Five dancers portray friends, lovers and family who play, stroll and physically support Ms. Martin in various combinations. While the fabric of the work was bright, the dancing itself was often dulled by lackluster technique.

The duet "Are You Lonesome Tonight," by Ellen Foreman, was a wickedly clever work that portrayed couch potato Vic Romita being wooed by kimono-clad Nancy Wanich-Romita. It was here that Ms. Wanich-Romita was at her theatrical best, literally throwing herself at her TV-zombie husband and smacking his face with her bare foot to get his attention.

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