Dancers land elsewhere Ballet: The season may have ended for some, but dancers remain in demand to perform with '' other groups.

May 22, 1998|By Judith Green | Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The ballet season in Annapolis may be over, but the dancers of Ballet Theater of Annapolis are still on their toes.

Having finished their BTA contracts, the dancers are free to perform elsewhere, and they're busy.

Male dancers are always in short supply, so Russian emigres Dmitry Tuboltsev and Aram Manoukian were snapped up to dance in a production of "Giselle" by a company in Manassas, Va.

Manoukian and Natasha Kirjanova also danced this week in Baltimore Choral Arts Society's production of "Carmina Burana" at the Gordon Center in Owings Mills. They were guests of Baltimore's Kimberly Mackin Dance Company in the presentation of Carl Orff's hymn to life, love and pleasure.

Six BTA dancers will dance with Tony Powell Music & Movement this weekend at the Dance Place in Washington.

Choreographer Powell, a multifaceted artist who composes the music for his dances, asked the BTA dancers to perform "Goodbye, Never Given," a work he made last year. It concerns a relationship that was ended by letter, leaving him, he said, without a sense of completeness.

Work recast

Though he directs his own 16-member company, he decided to recast this piece with ballet dancers because he wanted it to be shaped and contoured by their classical technique. "I want my work to look as good as it can," he said.

The performers are Anmarie Touloumis, Amber Zecker, Sandra Prehoda, Jennifer Dancesia, Tuboltsev and Manoukian. Powell, who picked them after one session watching BTA's company class, says, "I've never been so right on."

Also performing in this concert are Cheryl Sladkin and Chip Coleman of Washington Ballet, whose contract season ended last week. For them, Powell has created a duet, brief and fierce.

Powell, 28, who lives in Silver Spring, is known for an unconventional approach to dance.

His mentor at the Juilliard School, from which he graduated in 1995, was Anna Sokolow, now 90, a distinguished artist whose dances are often about social unrest and psychological turbulence. He has danced with Eric Hampton, who lavishes lyrical elegance on the Maryland Youth Ballet.

Passion and regret

In "Goodbye," whose subject many choreographers might treat as a duet, Powell saw a group work. To a yearning and lyrical piece for strings, the dancers swirl and congregate, moving to a slow, internal beat rather than step-by-step to the music. We see not a couple with a problem, but an overarching pattern of passion and regret.

The other works are as different from this as from each other. Powell's music ranges from New Age prettiness to the brutal electricity of "Closure," a work he com- posed for David Parsons' dance company, which performed it at Towson University last fall.

"Pulse," to be seen this weekend, has that same inexorable momentum. Another work, "Depth of Field," incorporates video, edited (with assistance from Vin Grabill, a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County) to fracture and fragment the choreography.

Part of the attraction for the dancers -- because they don't get paid much for any of these gigs -- is the chance to work in different styles and use different skills.

Powell's work is sweeping and romantic, but it moves with such swift intricacy that it taxes their wits as well as their stamina.

Tony Powell Movement & Music

When: 8 p.m. tomorrow and 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: The Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. N.E., Washington (two blocks from the Brookland/CUA stop on the Metro Red line)

Tickets: $12; students and seniors, $10; children, $5

Call: 202-269-1600

Pub Date: 5/22/98

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