The Moving and Storage Performance Company arrived at the House Friday with a load of promising raw material for dances--but no real finished work.
Intriguing movement ideas, arresting dance phrases, and collections of fascinating colloquial gestures piled up in heaps during the evening, ready for some hard choices by a purposeful choreographer.
Working with game and task structures, speech, ordinary (non-dance) motion as well as occasional forays into formal dancing, the six-woman, five-man Santa Cruz-based ensemble--augmented by both the Crash, Burn and Die Dance Company (!) and a six-member band--declared itself thoroughly post-modern.
It also proved itself highly accomplished, turning tantalizing snippets into forceful statements by considerable dance skill and even greater dramatic prowess.
Through Ben Davidson's intently focused performance, the rudimentary cycle of movement discontinuities in Mary Trunk's "Falling Dog" emerged in bold relief--just as Therese Adams gave the chain of woozy genre sketches in Leslie Swaha's "Rev 3" urgency and a sense of unity. This may have been workshop-level choreography, but the dancers put it over strongly.
Adams' "Falling II" and "Hey Jack" both broadly satirized behavior determined by gender stereotypes in this society. Taking its central movement premise from a news story about a stewardess who fell to her death from an airplane, the former depicted brides, fashion models and other rather obvious symbols of compliant womanhood as creatures fatally off balance.
Though it lacked the teetering, slipping, sprawling dynamism of "Falling II," Adams' "Hey Jack" looked much fresher, possibly because this woman's view of male bonding relied less on media cliches and managed to genuinely investigate patterns of competition and control in American buddyhood.
Still, instead of shaped, carefully developed creations, her female and male pieces emerged alike as card files of dance-research notes lacking a definitive choreographic form. In each, Adams gave all the movement episodes the same importance; even the order of events seemed wholly arbitrary.
Once again, the hard-working and often fearless dancers salvaged nearly everything, with Claire Parsons and Andrew Bigler especially fine in the punishing "Falling II" pas de deux.