Choreographer Patrick Frantz has some big ideas. Fortunately, he's got the talent to back them up. It was the stage of the Madrid Theatre, where the locally based collective La Danserie performed Saturday, that was, at times, too small for his vision. Frantz and five other choreographers premiered nine works, giving further proof that La Danserie is a major creative force.
Frantz's two large works, "Time to the End," boldly set to an excerpt of Poulenca's opera of martyrdom, "Dialogues of the Carmelites," and "Destiny," tackling no less than the "Molto Vivace" of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, both painted emotion-filled tableaux.
The former, featuring 12 dancers portraying doom and time's inevitable march, had leaping women crumbling in the face of merciless men. The latter saw eight dancers exalting in hope, where outspread arms and powerful leaps resembled glorious birds taking flight.
On a lighter note, a whimsical, tutu-clad Lisa K. Lock performed Frantz's "The Infinite Fifth," a spoof on barre work.
From Lock as choreographer came "500 Watts," stunningly danced by Moonea Choi, Ellen Rosa and Johnny Tu, an athletic look at power plays set to the dissonance of Penderecki, and "Night Prayers," a rich duet, punctuated by elegant lifts, between her and Jennifer McDonald Wilson.
McDonald Wilson's own solo, "Bound," had her resolutely grappling with a rope to Barber's "Adagio," while Judy Pisarro-Grant's "Mosaic" saw her, McDonald Wilson and Lock in lovely unisons set to Baroque music. Less successful: Nicole Mathis' awkward "Tuning In" and Laurie LeBlanc's overblown "Passage."