Linda Sohl-Donnell, artistic director of LTD/Unlimited Dance Company, seems wisely to have jettisoned most of her undistinguished modern dance efforts in order to concentrate on what has long been her greatest strength--rhythm tap. In a program Saturday at the Japan America Theatre, she and her four colleagues showed increased skill, security and sense of style in a series of her new and older tap works.
Even better, Sohl-Donnell invited Eddie Brown, 67, and Sandman Sims, who declines to give his age, as guest artists, even though that meant her company might look heavy-footed compared with these distinctive giants in the field. It did. Almost anybody would.
Brown, suited up elegantly, proved a master of lightness, clarity, ease of manner and dazzlingly fast flutter taps. Sims offered such plushy tapping, rapid footwork, playful manner and subtlety in dynamics that his reputation would have been guaranteed even without his trademark sand-board dancing. Their "Challenge Match" was cooperative in spirit and spirit-enhancing in effect.
Sohl-Donnell danced with urbane style and technical security, and the rest of the company--Karol Lee, Pauline Hagino, Monie Adamson and Beverley Scott--showed similar strength, grace and easy-going skill. Musicians Steve Fowler, Phil Wright, Ken Crutchfield and Jeff Littleton provided lively jazz accompaniment.