Those who attended Kinetics Dance Theatre's second annual gala at the Baltimore Museum of Art Saturday night had something to celebrate.
Dorothy Fried, reinstalled as the company's artistic director, and the school's director, Donna Harrington-Payne, have been working diligently. The result is that this Howard County-based company now has a technically skilled corps of dancers consisting of Amanda Thom-Woodson, Anne Parshall, Linda Garofalo-McDevitt, JoAnn Shay O'Neill, Jennifer Blizzard, Luke Loy and David Miller.
In addition, Kinetics has an apprentice company with talented young dancers such as Alicia Graf and Wendi Whitmire.
The gala offered a program of eight dances by guest choreographers Sharon Wyrrick, Priscilla Barden, Isaiah Davis and Andrea Lewis, as well as pieces by Ms. Fried and a premiere by Ms. Harrington-Payne.
The evening opened with Ms. Wyrrick's "Ooo Baby, Baby," a droll and satirical look at romance that contained Ms. Wyrrick's familiar dance, "Walking My Baby Back Home," now wonderfully accompanied by "These Foolish Dreams" and
David Miller's performance in Ms. Barden's "Lunch Break" gave new meaning to the term "power lunch." His loose, lighthearted dancing, yet fine body control was terrific as he moved to the rhythms of Sweet Honey in the Rock.
"Concerto Under the Stars," a fine premiere by Ms. Harrington-Payne for four apprentice dancers, was a technically challenging and entertaining work. While relying on the classics for its movement base, the quartet followed the music with inventiveness and energy. Watching Ms. Graf dance, it's not surprising to learn she is headed for the School of American Ballet.
Ms. Fried's "How Can I Keep from Singing," danced to New Age music, paid homage to American Indians. Danced by seven apprentice dancers and featuring Jennifer Blizzard, the work overlaid traditional Indian dance figures with a modern dance sensibility. While a more defined ending and smoother transitions between the dance's three sections would bolster the work, Ms. Fried's dance has more than a few moments of merit.