José Mateo’s dancers will take to the Harvard Square stage this spring with “In the Mind’s Eye,” featuring two fairly recent ballets.
“Streams” (2008) plays out in four movements, with simple costuming, to Terry Riley’s “The Cusp of Magic for String Quartet and Pipa” — a mix of northern Indian, Chinese and American Indian music.
Mark Kehlet Schou gets an admirable workout, achieving effortless, awe-inspiring height in his jumps. Mateo has created amazing choreography, but at times it seems too challenging for his dancers, the struggle evident in both their faces and footwork.
By the end of third movement, however, all the elements come together in performance harmony — the music, the lights, the choreographyandthe ease with which the dancers transition into the fourth section. The finale, featuring the company in full, is a clear highlight.
In the second ballet, “Fearless Symmetries,” Magdalena Gyftopolous and Elisabeth Scherer do, in fact, seem impervious to fright.
Created in 2009, the work is a better fit for its current cast. Although the ladies’ costumes are forgettable — slouchy tanks matched with hot pants or short flowy dance skirts inmuted shades of browns and blacks — the choreography is thoughtful and precise. Its artistry fills the intimate Sanctuary stage without overwhelming or overcrowding the space. The in-your-face effect of this catches the audience off guard (in a good way) with a powerful, but tempered, shift in focus upstage to Gyftopolous, resplendent in just a gray leotard and tutu. Simply stunning.
If you go
“In the Mind’s Eye”
Through April 21
400 Harvard St., Cambridge
Tickets start at $20