"The name of the group is Pick of the Crop Dance and Music Ensemble," says its co-artistic director Curt Steinzor, "but somehow the perception is that the organization is primarily a dance ensemble. Our fundamental purpose is to present music and dance on an equal footing, which is quite different from the typical dance company in which music serves as an accompaniment. We try to make as much of the music in our concerts live as possible, and each program includes some 'stand-alone' music performances." So it is with the group's next performances, set for this evening and Saturday at 8 in the Katharine Cornell Theater on the State University of Buffalo's Amherst Campus. In the middle of the dance/music selections, Steinzor, playing alto recorder, and guitarist Richard Falkenstein will take center stage to present a Handel Sonata in C Major, while Steinzor will play the Javanese "gender barung" in authentic Javanese classical selections. Steinzor and co-director Elaine Gardner will also showcase the premiere of "Geosomething," an unusual work with a set created by sculptor Roberley Bell, choreography and live/taped music created, by Gardner and Steinzor respectively, in response to the sculpture.
In addition to Gardner, dancers Marvin Askew, Karen Georger, Janet Reed and Annette Woodward will participate. The program also includes: "In a Glance," danced to Schubert's Impromptus Op. 90 No. 2 and 3, played by pianist Steven Thomas; Cornelius Cardew's 1967 "Tiger's Mind" danced by Gardner to a broad palette of percussion/synthesizer sounds; "Job," to Randy Newman's "God's Song," choreographed by Marcus Schulkind; and jazz dances "Visions of Jack Cole" choreographed by Tom Ralabate and Dave Brubeck's "Take Five," choreographed by Gardner.