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Music And Dance Reviews : Odc/san Francisco At The Wadsworth

October 28, 1985|LEWIS SEGAL

ODC/San Francisco is a middle-of-the-road '70s modern dance ensemble--sleek, skillful and a bit staid--with nothing much on its mind beyond those catholic any-motion-can-be-used-as-dance explorations that once seemed so iconoclastic.

The company's presence on the UCLA "New Directions in Dance" series, Friday at the Wadsworth Theater, represented sad proof of just how out-of-touch Greater Westwood has become with dance experiments of the past decade.

Filled with false errors, comic sprawls and inventive but undeveloped sequencing ploys, Kimi Okada's nicely danced trio, "Fall From Grace" (set to old pop records) inexorably evolved into the type of studied, relentlessly coy child's-garden-of-Tharp concoction that ODC inflicted on local audiences in its two previous visits.

Luxuriantly sensuous in the manner of a Club Med commercial, Brenda Way's "Entropics" showcased the talented (if overtaxed) Arturo Fernandez amidst restless full-company cruising to Andy Narell's tangy steel-band score.

Also in six parts, Way's "Natural Causes" again featured music (scat-song/vocalise by Rhiannon) more distinctive than her jazz-based choreography. This time, though, she introduced artful gestural accents and intriguing side-stage action that gave the work greater interest than just a vehicle for such fine soloists as Cathy Pruzan and Charles Trapolin.

After a promising start--with athletic and gestural motion fused in a nervous, percussive style--Katie Nelson's "No Secrets" (music by Jamie Kibben) settled into an increasingly predictable display of dancer technique. New directions? Not here.

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