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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Dance review

Couples together and apart in ‘How Do I Love Thee?’

Cambridge — In José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s new program, “How Do I Love Thee?,” choreographer Mateo doesn’t so much “count the ways” as explore some of love’s complexities in three works playing off music from different stylistic eras. The program also gives Mateo an opportunity to showcase some of the company’s newest dancers.

The most illuminating work is “Timeless Attractions” (2010), set to Alberto Ginastera’s strident String Quartet No. 2. Four pas de deux highlight different relationship dynamics. In the opening solo, Mark Kehlet Schou is all macho vigor, with sharp footwork and clean turns. There’s a bit of the swaggering bully in his duet with Angie DeWolf. Their push-pull tension takes its cue from the sawing atonality of the music. Elisabeth Scherer and Spencer Doru Keith seem to be on more equal footing in their pas de deux, though the choreography never quite matches the intensity of the music. Keith keeps putting Scherer’s hands behind her back, only to free them with a flourish.

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