Not being a technical “dance critic” allows me to bring you the skinny on performances as simply a lover of great dance. I make this distinction to say that you will not find me pontificating on the “technicalities” of a dance performance because that it is not my place. Nor do most audiences even care about that. We just want to be entertained and moved. You can go to the NY Times or some equally snotty dance critic for that if you need it. I report to you only on that which I think is wonderful and that you will enjoy. That said, last night I attended the first great cultural event of the season, the VIP Opening of David Parsons Dance at the Joyce Theater. I have been following this outstanding company for two years and they delivered their usual mixture of the breathtaking and the awesome.
The audience was treated to a program of five dances each of which displayed Parsons mastery. First up, was the World Premiere of Round My World, a passionate and sensual piece with six dancers dancing to the intriguing, digitally-layered sounds of composer Zoe Keating. They fluidly interlock and disconnect, tangle and flow, engage and disengage always returning to a circle. This piece is seemingly a metaphor of Life itself.
The short and sweet Step Into My Dream followed with two dancers working off each other in a jazzy athletic dance conversation.
Choreographed by Parsons veteran Katarzyna Skarpetowska, A Stray’s Lullaby was the second riveting World Premiere of the night. This dance is chock-full of so much raw emotion, it left we breathless. Christina Ilisje and Jason McDonald (who is hot in a Christopher Reeve Superman way!) were smashing standouts in their solo performances.
Caught is Parsons’ legendary signature piece and as delivered by Eric Bourne was awesome! I love this every time I see it as every dancer brings his own flavor to it. A combination of dance and magic trick, Caught is not to be missed. Definitely make it a point to see this at least once in Life.
One of the things that sets David Parsons Dance apart from other troupes is his innovative use of lighting. Howell Binkley and Christopher Chambers bring stunning tricks of light that are unparalleled making a Parsons Dance performance as much a light show as it is a dance experience.
For me, watching Parsons troupe is simply a perfect relaxing and intoxicating evening out. It is, in fact, a perfect date since his choreography always hits me in a raw, emotionally sensual way. Parsons is baby-making dance in much the same way that Al Green is baby-making music. The season runs from January 10th to the 22nd at the Joyce with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. Definitely grab a boy and go!
The after party at Room Service (166 8th Ave between 18th St & 19th St) ) was a small intimate affair peppered with friends and family of the company. It was wonderful to catch up with David and the troupe, as well as, meet some of their patrons. The icing on the cake was making the acquaintance of Robert Battle, the new Director of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, who informed me that he is a veteran of Parsons Dance. Wow! Wish I could’ve seen him do “Caught”!