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MUSIC / DANCE : At Ballet Pacifica, Dance as Destiny

February 13, 1992|CHRIS PASLES | Chris Pasles covers music and dance for The Times Orange County Edition.

Choreographer William Soleau invites the audience to think of life as a journey when viewing his new "Dream Dialogues," which Ballet Pacifica will dance this weekend.

"I wanted the dance to look like it's how we go through life," Soleau said in a phone interview from Palm Beach, Fla., where he was creating a new work, "Starry Night," based on the life of Vincent van Gogh, for Ballet Florida.

"Certain patterns, certain people come in and out of our lives, yet we still go on. We have our own destiny," he said. "It's a process."

Soleau said he used the same movements to begin and end the dance because "the journey just continues."

"It never stops. It's a circle. The audience is just able to see that little space on the stage where this happened, before the dancers go on to the next stage."

Set to Gerald Finzi's Clarinet Concerto in C, "Dream Dialogues" is for four dancers, two men and two women. "But it's not really about two couples," the 38-year-old choreographer said. "It's about four people and the process of relationship, not just between couple to couple, but how the four interact together. Sometimes it's a trio, sometimes it's two men. It's not just two love pas de deux."

There is no story line. "You see the dance just develop," he said. "I really viewed it as something symbolic. (The four dancers) are going toward something. What this something is, whether it's death or their being out for an evening stroll . . . it's up to the viewers to draw their own conclusions."

Actually, Soleau considers the audience to be "really voyeurs about what's happening on stage."

"The dancers never face front. I told them: 'Never look out in the audience unless there is a specific reason to. The only people you're concerned about are the three other people on stage. . . .' I think the dramatic impact is more honest that way.

"I'm more interested in the dramatics and honesty of the movement, making it appear as if the dance is happening at that moment, rather than a choreographed study of steps."

Soleau, a graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts, has worked with ballet and modern dance choreographers such as Antony Tudor, Alvin Ailey, Joyce Trisler and Dennis Wayne, and served as resident choreographer and principal dancer for Dennis Wayne Dancers and Finis Jhung's Chamber Ballets U.S.A.

He has also created works for the Shanghai Ballet of China, Ballet British Columbia, the Louisville Ballet, Ballet de Montreal and the American Ballet Theatre.

Soleau was one of the four guest choreographers who worked with Ballet Pacifica last summer as part of the two-week "Pacifica Choreographic Project" devised by artistic director Molly Lynch to exploit the talents of lesser-known American dance makers. "Dream Dialogues," receiving its official premiere this weekend, came out of that project.

Soleau stopped dancing three years ago. "My body was getting too old," he said. "It was too hard to go into class and keep up that discipline. But my interests were really in choreography. I got into dance because I wanted to choreograph. Trisler said you have to pay your dues first."

What: Ballet Pacifica will dance William Soleau's "Dream Dialogues," Molly Lynch's "Three Romances" and works by Lila Zali and Isreal El Gabriel in an "Evening of Romance" program.

When: Friday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 15, at 2:30 and 8 p.m.

Where: Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine.

Whereabouts: On the UC Irvine campus, on Campus Road near University Drive, across from the Marketplace mall.

Wherewithal: $6 to $15.

Where to Call: (714) 854-4646.

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