BWW Dance Roundup: PARSONS DANCE Met With Rousing Enthusiasm at The Joyce
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by Marina Kennedy
Parsons Dance opened its 2013 New York City Season at The Joyce this week captivating audiences with an eclectic array of pieces by the talented company. Metropolitan area dance enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience David Parsons at his best and once again realize his influence as a maverick in the dance world.
The program features repertoire favorites including the 2005 Mozart inspired piece, Wolfgang, where six dancers are romantically paired in a perfect fusion of contemporary and ballet. Audiences will also delight in the signature strobe light solo, Caught, and the energetic ensemble piece, In the End, with music by Dave Matthews.
Parsons Dance presents two new works at The Joyce this year. Katarzyna Skarpetowska, former Parsons' dancer and guest choreographer is having the 2013 World Premiere of Black Flowers with music by Frederick Chopin. Three men and three women guide the audience through a mystic lamentation in which women appear in a universally sacred trio. Black Flowers is a somber mystery allowing the audience to realize the full intensity of the mourning ritual. Steven Vaughn's brief solo succeeds in evoking the stark nature of the piece itself. In the end, the women, Christina Ilisije, Melissa Ullom, and Lauren Garson reveal the anguish that Skarpetowska has infused in her choreography of Black Flowers.
Alligators, birds, and the waters of the Everglades set the stage for the New York Premiere of Dawn to Dusk. The piece is an excerpt from Face of America, Spirit of South Florida, conceived, commissioned and produced by Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Video by Blue Land Media and photography by Clyde Butcher are artfully displayed on the large screen at the back of the stage while dancers express the images of nature and animals. With music by Andrew Bird and Tiempo Libre, the audience is transported to Florida's National Parks where members of Parsons Dance traveled to immerse themselves in the natural environments. The piece opens with seven members of the company leaning together and undulating, while dancer Abby Silva Gavezzola manages to escape from the alligator stalking her on the video. The piece concludes with stark contrast, a club scene in Miami with the ensemble performing an energetic salsa number. Dawn to Dusk pays homage to our natural resources and proves Parsons' desire to make the art of dance a vital, relevant inspiration for the public.
This season, David Parsons pays tribute to a long-time friend, Terrence D. Jones, whose support of Parsons Dance began with the company's creation over 25 years ago. It is a marvelous tribute, full of the signature innovation and style audiences have come to expect of David Parsons Dance Company. In his remarkable career, David Parsons had been a leading dancer with The Paul Taylor Dance Company, a teacher, director and producer. He has created more than 80 works for Parsons Dance and has been commissioned by American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and New York City Ballet, to name a few.
Parsons Dance will be performing at The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street) NYC on January 15-27th 2013. Performances are Tuesday to Wednesday, 7:30pm; Thursday-Friday, 8:00pm; Saturday, 2:00pm and 8:00pm and Sunday 1pm and 5pm. A family matinee is scheduled for Saturday, January 26th at 2:00pm. Tickets range in price from $10.00 to $59.00. Ticket prices are subject to change. JoyceCharge: 212-242-0800, joyce.org
Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero