By By Cressa Perloff

By Cressa Perloff

If you want to learn about the roots of modern dance, you could read a textbook or check out a scratched black-and-white film from the library-or you can do the reasonable thing and see Repertory Dance Theatre this weekend.

Friday and Saturday night, RDT performs “Time Capsule: A Century of Dance,” which showcases a collection of dances from the pioneers of the early 1900s to the pioneers of today.

Linda Smith, RDT’s artistic director, said the company created an evening focused on historical repertory for the first time in 1980, and its has since expanded its horizons. The program involves multimedia and narration to further engage and inform the audience.

This year’s repertory includes selections from Isadora Duncan’s “Valse Brilliante,” Doris Humphrey’s “Soaring,” Daniel Nagrin’s “Strange Hero,” Jos Limn’s “There Is a Time,” Anna Sokolow’s “Lyric Suite,” Shapiro and Smith’s “Dance for Two Army Blankets,” Laura Dean’s “Sky Light” and Charles Moulton’s “Nine Person Precision Ball Passing.”

The U modern dance department’s Performing Dance Company will also take part, performing Martha Graham’s 1935 piece “Panorama,” which it performed earlier this month at the U.

From the early development of modern dance to postmodern dance to contemporary modern dance, RDT aims to guide audience members through a journey. Showcasing the brilliance of legendary choreographers and their pivotal works, audience members will be surprised at the timelessness of all the pieces.

“Time Capsule: A Century of Dance” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Rose Wagner Center. Tickets are $30 for general admission and $15 for students and can be purchased through ArtTix at 355-ARTS.