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Dance Review : 'Valentine,' 'boboli' By The Joffrey

October 06, 1987|CHRIS PASLES

The Joffrey Ballet's four-part matinee program Sunday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion included two works introduced locally last year but not seen here last season. In the Sunday evening program, three dancers were cast in roles new to them.

In the matinee, not even the lithe, vigorous Joffrey dancers could salvage Mark Haim's tin-ear divertissement "The Gardens of Boboli," in which jokey, athletic dance phrases are mindlessly matched to Albinoni's light, graceful melodies, accompanying figures or structural repetitions, with heavy, obtuse and numbing results.

Still, Leslie Carothers maintained her usual elegant line and statuesque calm; and, in his solo, Parrish Maynard strutted with elan but also with oversell audience courting. John Miner conducted the assortment of Albinoni concertos with sprightly airiness.

Beatriz Rodriguez and Glenn Edgerton appeared together for the first time in Gerald Arpino's "Valentine," a comic battle of the sexes in the guise of a boxing match, created in 1971 to exploit differences between the short, mercurial Rebecca Wright and the towering, authoritative Christian Holder.

Rodriguez, who has danced the work before, cast a strong, distinctive presence, signaling a wide range of sly strategies--from combative, wicked looks to flirtatious, joyful slinkiness.

Edgerton, a superb dancer in classical and romantic roles, projected little of the required personality and turned in a clean but bland performance. The boxing ring obviously is not his turf.

On stage and very much a participant, contrabassist Alvin Brehm played Jacob Druckman's quirky score with panache.

The company showed its customary commitment and energy in the slushy trash of Arpino's "Round of Angels" and the cataclysmic "The Clowns," which completed the afternoon program.

Making debuts in the Ashton Sunday evening program were Tom Mossbrucker, who partnered Julie Janus attentively but with occasional awkwardness in "Les Patineurs," and Kim Sagami and Douglas Martin, who showed strong control, elegant line and reasonably secure balances in "Monotones I and II," respectively.

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