1984 New York Times



Daniel Lewis is a noted graduate of the Juilliard School, where he now teaches, and he danced with Jose Limon, whose works he has staged. Given that background, it wasn’t surprising that a program by Daniel Lewis Dance on Thursday at the Theater of the Riverside Church was an evening of solid choreography performed by capable dancers.

Most noteworthy was a striking new work by Anna Sokolow, based on three solos choreographed in the 1930’s. In ”As I Remember,” set to music by Silvestre Revueltas, Chick Corea and Maurice Ravel, Miss Sokolow expresses deep emotion almost entirely through posture.

The opening solo, called ”Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter,” has Jane Carrington standing erect and almost still, but for one crumpled fall and a pull or two at her long black dress, revealing scarlet lining. It is a forbidding view of formal grief. The tone becomes lighter as Evelyn Shepard skips with her usual warmth through the second solo, ”Ballade in a Popular Style.” Youthful gaiety becomes manifest in the slight tilt of her body and the way her feet and hands are poised, as if supporting her in air.

The piece closes with ”Kaddish,” in which a black-clothed mourner is pulled into herself, hunched in an anguish that also finds expression in the straining upward of her livid arms and face, bathed in light. That solo is danced, with extraordinary power, by Risa Steinberg. ”As I Remember” is dedicated to the late Louis Horst, the teacher, composer and critic and a mentor to Miss Sokolow, in this centennial of Horst’s birth.

Mr. Lewis’s new ”Textured Lighting” is as dark and formal a work, but its formality is very much of the 1980’s. Set to a score by Edgar David Grana, the piece is all subdued athletics in its stage crosses and partnering for four men. Edward Effron’s chill lighting provides the turbulent landscape through which they dance, as strong an element as any in a dance dedicated to the late Gilbert Hemsley Jr., the lighting designer. Jim May, one of the most sensitive modern dancers around, is the quiet trailblazer in the quartet, which included Brian Carbee, Michael Kraus and Stephen Nunley.

The power of the dance was somewhat diluted, however, by the score’s distracting chants and by the sense that the dance had some deeper meaning to the choreographer than was clear to the viewer. That sense of missed connections also diminished Nancy S. Jordan’s new ”Out of Sink,” though the brightness of its jazz score by Eddie Sauter was evoked well in Miss Carrington’s performance of the wandering solo.

The program was completed by Mr. Lewis’s ”There’s Nothing Here of Me but Me” and ”The Exiles,” Mr. Limon’s probing look at the loss of Eden, danced dramatically by Mr. May and Miss Carrington. The company will perform at Riverside through today.

A version of this article appears in print on Jan. 22, 1984, Section 1, Page 44 of the National edition with the headline: DANCE: DANIEL LEWIS AND ANNA SOKOLOW