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Sydney Dance Company Opens in NY

May 25, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ It isn’t easy to hold an audience’s attention with a full-length ballet which has no plot, and few choreographers try. Graeme Murphy has tried and succeeded with ″Shining.″

The Sydney Dance Company from Australia danced the two-hour ″Shining″ Tuesday night as the opening program of a two-week season at the City Center. Murphy choreographed it in 1986 to mark 10 years as the company’s artistic director.

The first section, titled ″Dawn,″ had duets, trios, quartets and groups of 14. While the enormously vital and versatile dancers were on stage, Murphy allowed them no rest. They were swinging around, jumping, lifting or being lifted, swooping down for floor work, being dragged or dragging somebody along the floor.

The music by Karol Szymanowski sounded like dramatic movie music, with something important about to happen every minute. When the tempo was especially fast, it was usually Nina Veretennikova who danced.

Alfred Williams had a mesmerizing solo in the first section. He and Andrea Toy danced the second section, ″Pre-Dawn,″ which Murphy created in 1985 as a duet named ″Shimmering.″

The final section, ″Night,″ has duets, quartets and groups again and is almost entirely danced in couples.

″Shining″ was never predictable.

The company gave the U.S. premiere of ″Shining″ May 16 at Stanford, Calif. After June 8 and 9 performances in San Antonio, Texas, the company will perform for two months in Europe. ″After Venice,″ which will be danced this season, had its American premiere when the company was last in New York, in 1985.

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