But there is something entirely different here from most other dance companies. Dancers, even some of the most contemporary, generally express their art as a series of group simulations of congruities. Yes, there are always alterations to the more patterned dancing, the grand jetés of male and female performers, the constant shifts of patterning and deconstruction. Yet Washington’s company seem almost to represent a paring of mismatches, women of height and wide girth, with thinner males, taller males poised against delicately dainty females.
And because of this, most of Washington’s dancers work in what I might describe (and my theater-going partner, Lita Barrie, described) as a kind of syncopation. At moments it appears that each dancer is performing slightly to a different beat from the others, which creates another kind of energy based on the individual instead of the corps de ballet. In Washington’s works, bodies themselves are diverse, and they move differently from one another.