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Archive for Saturday, May 2, 1998

DANCE COMPANY KICKS UP HEELS

May 2, 1998

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University Dance Company's spring concert is a choreographic adventure that takes the audience through time and round the globe. From classical ballet to East Indian dance, from the Renaissance to 1930s jazz -- it's a diverse program that entertains and intrigues.

``Donizetti Pas de Six,'' a ballet by Jerel Hilding and set to ``Concertino for English Horn and Orchestra in G Major'' by Donizetti, uses a ribbon to tie together the movements of soloist, duet, trio and sextet. Outstanding are the graceful and technically sound Chih-Pei Gan and Kooi-Lan Tan.

The talented Tan returns for ``After Images,'' a dramatic modern dance by Muriel Cohan set to the somber chanting of ``Missa Propria'' by Jan Jirasek. The piece features skillful leaps and lifts by a five-member ensemble.

Patrick Suzeau dazzles the audience with ``Thillana Adi Tala,'' an Eastern Indian dance by Asha Prem that is grounded in precise, quick steps and magnificent arm movements. Suzeau performs this work perfectly.

``Sad and Merry Measures,'' a series of restrained Renaissance dances reconstructed by Joan Stone and set to John Dowland's music, is enlivened by Collegium Musicum and vocalist Lori Lewis. Most touching is Stone's solo depicting a grieving woman.

Hilding's choreography returns in ``Bellini Pas de Trois,'' a ballet about a young man who dreams of two beautiful ladies set to Bellini's music. One dancer slipped -- a reminder that what looks easy is often quite difficult.

The finale is Willie Lenoir's ``Topsy,'' a lyrical piece to Count Basie's music that features the energetic, expressive Mitch Simmons and Angela Arnold. Simmons is truly delightful to watch.

The concert will be presented again at 8 p.m. today at the Lied Center. It's a show University Dance Company can be proud of.

-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is jbiles@ljworld.com.

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