The dance program at Towson State University is all-encompassing. Students are expected to study and be proficient in all forms of the art.
Accordingly, the program that the TSU Dance Company presented last night at the campus Fine Arts Center contained a potpourri of styles reflecting the varied interests and talents of the student troupe.
With seven premieres on the programs among eight dances shown, the 21-member company featured works from two student choreographers, Jennifer Koehler and Linda Cormier, plus offerings from artistic director Susan Leslie Grubb, managing director Dennis Price and guest choreographers Nancy Wanich Romida and Karen Mucciolo.
" 'Let's Just Be Friends,' He Said" by Mr. Price opened the program. Using contemporary music by Dee-Lite and modern jazz movements, "Friends" has a downtown club atmosphere. The women vogue, then break into small pouty movements that eventually turn to frenzy. The work reeks of the young, the bored and the restless.
While "Friends" is definitely the downside of relationships, Mr. Price's ballet duet, "Rhapsody," portrays the more quixotic facet of romance.
Ms. Grubb's " 'Disney Adventure: Once Upon a Time' For the 90s" is reminiscent of the musical "Into the Woods" in its theme of fairy tales gone bad. But Ms. Grubb's whacked-out dance is more cheerfully menacing.
This nicely crafted satirical look at the squeaky-clean world of Disney borders on the surreal. Here fairy tales are nightmares. The prince roughs up Cinderella, Pinnochio and friend are not completely strung, and the unwary are trapped. There is a gloss of Marat Sade meeting Mickey and Minnie.
"Caught in a Stream" by Ms. Koehler was equally surreal. An abstract piece set to a collage of voice and music, this well performed quintet fancifully captured the audience's imagination with its witty play between image and sound.
The solo, "Ripe with Broken Dreams," by Ms. Cormier took its dramatic and movement images from the lyrics of Michelle Shocked's song, "Looks Like Mona Lisa" to paint a portrait of a woman on the verge of mental collapse.
There is no prima ballerina or star to steal the limelight in this company. As a student body, the TSU Dance Company is in agreeably good shape.
The performance will be repeated tonight at 8 and on Sunday at 3 p.m.