Teodoro and Isabel Morca, co-directors of Morca Dance Theatre, dubiously honored four Spanish composers with tired professionalism Saturday at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium in Pasadena.
To taped accompaniment, the Morcas danced well-oiled synchronized duets to music of Falla and Pablo Luna and underpowered solos to music of Albeniz and Jeronimo Jimenez.
The dancers' movements were clear, open, wide, but not imaginative, fiery, expressive or impelled by something within.
The problem seemed to originate in the torsos. His was held rigidly, unyieldingly stretched, but with a high-arch breaking the line of his back. Hers, on the contrary, lacked sufficient tension and electricity. Any fluid arm or hand movements or explosive footwork thus lacked sufficient power and weight.
Live accompaniment, provided mostly in the second half of the program, appeared to have an enlivening effect upon both Morcas, however. He danced with more fancy leg crossing, flutteringly quiet heel work and impressive interplay between hand-clapped and foot-stomped rhythms. She, too, became freer and more lyric. But the basic lack of demonic expressivity remained a problem.
Plaintive, appealingly sour vocalizing was provided by Marysol. Josele del Rio and Paco Sevilla contributed spirited guitar accompaniment, although amplification stressed every buzz, twang or metallic tone.