Chance To Dance

SMOOTH WINE and smooth moves will be decanted at the October 8 benefit for NEW ARTiculations. The local modern-dance troupe is uncorking its third annual "Dance Gallery," a heady swirl of wine, dance and hors-d'oeuvres at the downtown club Heart-Five.

This year, you'll be able to sample four wines, each carefully paired with an appetizer. Between sips, members of NEW ARTiculations will offer samples of their current work, combining movement and spoken word.

"We're leaning more toward performance art with quite a lot of speaking because we don't have a lot of space to move in," says the company's prime mover and shaker, Tammy Rosen. Nevertheless, the evening promises attractions as diverse as the holdings in a small vintner's cellar.

Leigh Ann Rangel will offer a preview of her MFA concert slated for February, with a solo called "Millennium Bride." "She's there in a wedding dress giving all these promises that are absurdly impossible and grappling with this ridiculous dress and a silly halo of baby's breath," explains Rosen.

After the wedding, of course, things eventually settle down into a daily grind. That's the subject of a trio choreographed by Cindy Alm, wherein "all this hectic movement is interrupted by the languid moments that people try to find at some point in their crazy days," says Rosen.

Rosen will perform a solo choreographed by Tommy Parlon, a dance professor at Kent State who was NEW ARTiculations' guest artist last season. Rosen has also choreographed a duet for herself and Rangel, which she describes as "sort of silly and pretty short. I ended up contrasting dramatic movement with a more quirky personality, so this movement that might have seemed melodramatic should come off as kind of fun." The evening also includes a trapeze duet choreographed by Nathan Dryden.

"We have been leaning toward the performance-art realm in the last year or so," says Rosen, "but this is not as serious as our usual work, partly because the space is too small for big group pieces. You won't see any big dancey stuff in this."

Proceeds will help match grants totaling $5,000 from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Tucson/Pima Arts Council. All this cash will help NEW ARTiculations engage guest artists to perform at the UA or a local high school. It will also support the company's open-theater afternoon, during which school kids are bused in to watch the dancers at work; and it will back an adjudicated concert that showcases budding local choreographers.

NEW ARTiculations' "Dance Gallery" takes place Sunday, October 8 at 6 p.m. at Heart-Five, 61 E. Congress St. Advance tickets cost $20 ($15 for students and seniors) and may be snagged at Heart-Five or by calling 882-0318. Admission is $25 and $20 the door.