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S.D. Dance Theatre Moves Into Big Time

February 05, 1988|EILEEN SONDAK

SAN DIEGO — Although the San Diego Dance Theatre has been around since 1967, shoestring budgets have generally anchored the company to college campuses and loft-style settings for public appearances.

Now, with a little help from its friends, this home-grown modern dance troupe is moving into the big time--with a pair of concerts at the Lyceum Theatre tonight and Saturday.

"We took a chance with the Lyceum for the first time," said SDDT dancer-choreographer George Willis, "because we were included in San Diego Dances," a series to showcase local dance companies, co-sponsored by the San Diego Foundation for the Performing Arts and the San Diego Area Dance Alliance.

Bolstered by support from this brand-new umbrella, San Diego Dance Theatre will make its Lyceum debut with an ambitious program that includes a reconstruction of a modern dance classic and several works by company dancers.

"Lynchtown," its celebrated curtain-raiser, was choreographed by modern dance pioneer Charles Weidman in the 1930s and carefully re-created for the group by Willis (an ex-Weidman dancer). This disturbing portrait of mob psychology is one of the troupe's finest achievements.

Another highlight of this concert is "Hand Remembrance Mean," a strong study of isolation designed and danced by Pat Sandback.

The troupe's artistic director, Carl Yamamoto, contributed the three other works on this eclectic program: "And Other Maladies," a dancer's lament; "Bicameralities," (with original music by Jon Szanto and Paul Horn), and an excerpt from an unfinished work.

Both performances will be at 8 p.m.

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