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Murray Louis Dance Company Has Superb Opening

April 3, 1986

NEW YORK (AP) _ You know you’ve seen a superb evening of dance when each of four remarkable pieces is your favorite while in progress. That’s what happened Wednesday night when the Murray Louis Dance Company opened at the Joyce Theater.

One new work was the premiere of a solo Louis, 59, choreographed for himself, ″The Disenchantment of Pierrot.″

Louis, in a silver leotard and whiteface, danced with splendid muscle control in front of a backdrop of Venice.

Les Ditson’s amusing set included a daisy taller than the dancer, from which he pulled the petals, and a small house with a window from which the lonely Pierrot threw a basketful of plastic hearts. When he finally lay down and covered himself up, a heart on a wire stem irrepressibly ″grew″ to replace Pierrot’s discarded heart.

″The Station,″ commissioned by the Taormina Art Festival in Sicily, had its U.S. premiere, using the other eight dancers in the company. The backdrop was a big, glass-covered train station. Songs in Weill and Brecht style were by David Gregory, Stan Free and Louis.

There are striking images here, like a woman leaning back across a man sitting on a suitcase. Some of it was zany, dancers moving with the alert intensity of actors in a silent movie.

The company also presented a ″A Stravinsky Montage″ from 1982 and the second, ″Porcelain Dialogues″ from 1974.

They’re very different but both have many scenes, angular movement, careful small movement details, an importance of relationships of two dancers in the same space, striking originality and images of beauty and jollity.

Dancers Betsy Fisher, Rob McWilliams, Margaret Morris, Edward Akio Taketa, Cynthia Marie Sigler, Christopher Strauss, Marcia Menefee and Jim Tryforos looked wonderful. All four works had imaginative lighting.

The company will dance at the Joyce through April 20, alternating three programs, all with Louis’ choreography.

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