Highways Performance Space played host to an auspicious pairing of choreographers Thursday in an evening of nine mostly new works under the banner "Left, Chronic, and Other Dances." Maria Gillespie is visceral; Carmela Hermann, cerebral. Both brim with a playful, yet profound, sense of the body in motion.
In Gillespie's premiere, "Chronic" -- a triptych of solos set to Max Duncan's original, Hendrix-like guitar groanings (on tape) -- Lillian Bitkoff, Holly Rothschild and Alesia Young could have been the three Graces -- in hell. Exploding with aggressive hopping, skittering and lunging, the piece, which with the other works repeats tonight at the Santa Monica venue, was a malleable sculpture in which beauty reigned in partnering. Gillespie's new solo, "Occiput, Gall Bladder, and Tibia," had the choreographer in a frisky mode, thoroughly enjoying a backward sliding gambit.