You expect certain things from the Koresh Dance Company: technically superb, exceptionally well-rehearsed performers doing Koresh's patented "fusion" of ballet, modern jazz, and Yemenite folk dance in which these disparate forms actually do fuse, creating a powerful new movement style. The troupe delivered all this, and more, Thursday as it inaugurated a four-day run at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.

Program A marked the premiere of Roni Koresh's

Theater of Public Secrets

, an evening-long work based on a shorter piece that debuted at the same venue in March. This expanded version consists of 20 brief segments, divided by an intermission, that examine the complexity of human relationships - as seen in the privacy of people's homes.

The 11 dancers quickly established their particular characters and situations, running the gamut from savage to slapstick. Company veteran Melissa Rector triumphed, both in a solo filled with frantic, ritualistic gestures (scrubbing the floor, walking on all fours) and in the duet she performed with Jae Hoon Lim - tender, then rough, incorporating spectacular, inventive lifts and leaving audience members emotionally drained.

It came as no surprise that Roni Koresh could create dark and sensual choreography, but I for one was amazed to discover his ability to produce laugh-out-loud comedy as well.

The best of these scenes involved Alexis Viator attempting to change her clothes behind a folding screen; the seduction of a shy young man (Eric Bean Jr.) by an overzealous lady (Viator, again); and a very funny sequence starring two company apprentices (Amanda Lenox and Asya Zlatina).

In this piece Koresh experiments with many kinds of music, by more than a dozen composers. And

Theater of Public Secrets

must have set a record for the most inventive ways of dancing on, above and below a table, a bench, a portable mirror, and an overstuffed red velvet armchair. However, on first viewing this composition seemed overextended, and the intermission felt intrusive.

The evening began with excerpts from a documentary film about the troupe.

Then, before the adults took the stage, we met the Koresh Youth Ensemble. This newly established group of 13- to 17-year-olds turned in a stirring, thoroughly professional performance of

Standing in Tears

, one of Koresh's typically intense and physically challenging works.



on D7