Remember Me is a full-length dance-theater work and rock-dance opera, featuring Parsons Dance with the lead vocalists and music of the Grammy-nominated band, East Village Opera Company.
Lead Commissioning support for Remember Me was generously provided by the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation; and by Dr. and Mrs. Edward J. Prostic, in honor and memory of their daughter Elizabeth Anne Prostic.
David Parsons’ stroboscopic masterpiece, Caught, features more than one hundred leaps in six minutes by a solo dancer who is repeatedly trapped in mid-motion by the strobe lights, to create an illusion of flight. After thousands of performances, worldwide, for nearly thirty years, Caught continues to thrill audiences at every performance.
Caught is maintained in the active repertory of Parsons Dance through generous support from the Linda A. & James Ellis Fund of the Westchester Community Foundation.
Set to the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach, the paired dancers explore the formality and grandeur of baroque tradition as they move in patterned group movements. Each of the sweeping, unique duets features its own surprises while revealing the individual personalities of its dancers. The movement is carefully synchronized to the music. Bachiana is one of the most balletic works in David Parsons’ repertoire.
Bachiana was jointly commissioned by Ruth Eckerd Hall the Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts (Ruth Eckerd Hall) in Clearwater, Florida; University of Florida Performing Arts, Gainesville, Florida; and Florida Arts Celebration, Gainesville, Florida.
Hand Dance features ten dancing hands, visually detached from their bodies by highly focused lighting. Performed to an amusing “hoedown” score for strings arranged by Kenji Bunch for the Ahn Trio, Hand Dance transforms palms, fingers and thumbs into an array of shapes, forms and characters that move individually and in tandem. The hands form images of train pistons, Olympic divers, air guitar players and more. Full of subtle humor as well as broad physical comedy, Hand Dance is popular with audiences of all ages.
Kind of Blue
Kind of Blue is a flirtatious and alluring quartet. The dancers vie for time in the spotlight with deliberate yet nonchalant attitudes, while flitting back and forth between emotions of curiosity and sensuality. The dancers explore the moves of their own bodies, as if mesmerized under the influence of Davis’ sultry jazz.
Kind of Blue was commissioned by the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. It is a tribute to the 75th anniversary of the birth of Miles Davis and features music from his best selling jazz album of all time.
Mood Swing is a satirical exploration of the emotional highs and lows of contemporary life. Using movement that darts, shifts, slides and slips, Mood Swing vacillates from the frenetic to the forlorn, ultimately ending on a satisfying high note.
Mood Swing was commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Kennedy Center Ballet Commissioning Program.
Milton Nascimento is one of Brazil’s most celebrated contemporary musicians and composers. David Parsons’ dance, Nascimento, is a tribute to his friend, Milton Nascimento, and his exuberant original music. Parsons uses sophisticated spatial patterns to compliment Nascimento’s colorful samba rhythms. The dancers sweep across a broad stage in bright costumes while saturated by light, to deliver a lively, fast-paced and emotionally charged performance.
Nascimento was commissioned by UApresents at the University of Arizona. The musical score for Nascimento was a special gift to Parsons Dance from Milton Nascimento.
David Parsons once again collaborated with his long-time friend and legendary musical artist, Milton Nascimento, to create Nascimento Novo. Nascimento Novo uses movement that is sensual and social, in order to mine the rich percussive instrumentation of Nascimento’s music, which features many instruments rarely heard outside of Brazil. Colorfully lit and brightly costumed, Nascimento Novo is at once mesmerizing and energizing for both dancers and audience.
Nascimento Novo was commissioned by Stephen B. Morris, current president of the Parsons Dance Board of Directors, in honor of his wife’s 60th birthday. “Vickie wanted her gift above all to create something of lasting value. She felt that sponsoring a groundbreaking piece of dance, choreographed by David Parsons and done in collaboration with someone of Milton Nascimento’s stature in world music, would be exciting and meaningful for both of us.” Visit the Gallery
In Sleep Study, seven pajama-clad dancers toss and turn on stage, mimicking the universal movement of sleep. Sleep Study is a charmer for audiences of all ages. With movement that is familiar yet surprising, it is a wonderful introduction to the basic craft of choreography.
Sleep Study premiered at Jacob’s Pillow in Beckett, Massachusetts on July 28, 1987.
Created for three couples, Slow Dance is performed in 12×12 inches of light. While confined to this specific amount of space, each dancer employs beautiful, geometric shapes enhanced by the haunting and romantic score. This Parsons work is sultry and smoky, full of intricate manipulations of bodies from the sky to the floor.
Step into My Dream
Step Into My Dream is a five part jazz work set to the sultry jazz music of Dr. Billy Taylor. This season Parsons Dance will perform the duet section to “Kim’s Song II.” The work’s smooth movement segments appear effortless as the dancers skim, float, spin in complete unison. Flitting glances are exchanged between the couple as they explore the purity of jazz. This piece has an old charm that’s easy on the eyes.
Parsons Dance performed Step Into My Dream (duet excerpt) in the honor and memory of Dr. Billy Taylor during the New York Season at the Joyce Theater in 2012.
Swing Shift, a dance for four couples, celebrates moves popularized by mid-20th century sock hops and swing dancing. Swing Shift requires dancers to maintain close proximity in order to move intricately about one another. Swing Shift shifts moods as well as moves, at times uplifting and celebratory; at other times sultry or sensual.
Swing Shift was commissioned in celebration of the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial by the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana; Irvin David in honor of his wife Karin; the Kentucky Center for the Arts, the Lied Center for Performing Arts, a unit of the University of Nebraska; Altria Group, Inc., Parsons Dance’s New Works Fund 2003, and the John A. Sellon Charitable Residual Trust.
The Envelope is a social commentary about loss of identity and individuality in quasi-efficient and highly ordered social structures such as a contemporary office environment. Whatever valuable content the envelope conceals, its delivery is a complex and convoluted journey fraught with questions of authority, accountability, risk and reward.
The Envelope was funded as a full production of the Dance Theater Workshop and the generous contributions of the dancers.