San Francisco choreographer Christopher Beck wants to create dramatic works with intense emotion; yet he fills them with abstract dance movement.
Sadly, most of his six-member troupe, which he brought to the Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Park on Saturday as part of the Fringe Festival, lacked the technical security to make pure movement interesting in itself, as well as the ability to project powerful feelings.
In his most successful work, "The Other," Beck abandoned dance altogether in favor of theater; the piece could be done as easily by two actresses as it was by dancers Deborah Phillips and Mary Lou Partridge.
While Phillips, clad in a slinky black slip and dangling earings, admired herself in a hand mirror, the rag-clad Partridge writhed in agony on the floor. The connection between the two was never specified, but connection there was for as Partridge convulsed, Phillips grew increasingly insecure and driven to confirm herself through her sexual attractiveness. Eventually, a hard-earned rapprochement between the two was suggested.