History and Highlights

History and Highlights

2014: Parsons Dance launched its educational outreach program at PS 75 in New York City. Through this program Parsons Dance company members engaged with elementary school students to bring creativity, artistic expression, and bodily awareness to the classroom through dance.

2014: On May 10th, Parsons Dance gave a world premiere in collaboration with Allen Toussaint and the Allen Toussaint Orchestra in New Orleans. The NOLA Defender described the premiere as a “world where reality and fantasy are no longer at odds” but rather “in a beautiful dance together.” This collaboration also saw the premiere of “Whirlaway.”

2014: Former company dancer, Natalie Lomonte, was chosen as the recipient of the new GenerationNOW fellowship program, a project which gives one emerging American choreographer the opportunity to create a new work for the company to be performed throughout its season.

2014: On January 14th, Parsons Dance kicked off its 30th Anniversary Season at its annual Gala.

2013: Parsons Dance gave a world premiere of “Black Flowers” by Katarzyna Skarpetowksa during its Joyce season. Edge NY described the work as a “romantic dance” featuring “languorous, poetic steps” which “captured the fancy and imagination of the audience.”

2013: Parsons Dance gave the New York City premiere of “Dawn to Dusk,” a part of the Face of America: Spirit of South Florida series commissioned by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.

2012: The New York Times famed David Parsons’ premiere work, Round My World, as “ingenious . . . remarkable . . . striking . . . pretty shapes, prettily drawn by attractive dancers . . . Round My World has curves in the right places . . . everyone is thrilled.”

2011: Parsons Dance was honored with a commission from the acclaimed Wolftrap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Mr. Parsons created a new work as part of the Foundation’s unique Face of America series on site in Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Dry Tortugas National Park. This production shows a true celebration of the diverse people, histories and landscapes that exist in the National Parks.

2011: On July 9th, David Parsons received the Dance Master’s of America Annual Award at DMA’s 127th National Convention Awards Banquet in Kissimmee, Florida. Past recipients include Alvin Ailey, Gregory Hines, Gene Kelly, and Jacques D’Amboise, among others.

2010: On October 21st, Mr. Parsons’ new duet, Portinari, was previewed at the United Nations Association of New York 2010 Humanitarian Awards. Portinari was also previewed for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil with live orchestra in December 2010 in Rio de Janeiro. Portinari is a dance with broad cultural and historic references that will engage audiences far beyond the dance community. Portinari made its world premiere at The Joyce Theater in January 2011.

2010: In July, David Parsons was awarded the Howard Gilman Fellowship to attend the MFA program at Jacksonville University

2010: Parsons Dance was featured on Italian TV Show, “Amichi,” in March.

2010: Parsons Dance launched a new dance education initiative called the “Master Choreography Workshop.” The specialized workshop allows students to directly participate in David Parsons’ creative development and choreographic processes.

2009: On August 13th, David Parsons’ first full evening-length dance work, Remember Me, premiered in New York on WLIW Channel 21, followed by multiple local and national screenings.

2009: On April 25th, Bruce Marcus and Joe Locarro presented Operatic Heat, a collaboration between Parsons Dance and the East Village Opera Company, at the Lycian Centre for the Performing Arts. The event was aired in August as a Public Television Pledge Special with WGBH in Boston as the presenting station.

2008: In May, David Parsons was featured on an Audi commercial.

2007: The first Parsons Dance Study Guide for teachers and students in grades K through 8 was published in collaboration with the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech.

2007: On September 3, 2007, New York Magazine previewed Maria de Buenos Aires, an artistic collaboration between Parsons Dance and Gotham Chamber Opera, calling David Parsons, “one of modern dance’s great living dance-makers.”

2007: On July 27, 2007, Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times called Artistic Director David Parsons, “one of the great movers of modern dance,” in a preview to the Summerstage performance by Parsons Dance.

2007: In the summer of 2007, David Parsons became the first contemporary choreographer to choreograph at the Arena di Verona in Italy. Parsons choreographed AIDA, which was presented from June 23 through September 1, 2007.

2007: David Parsons directed the prestigious Italian program, “Festival di Sanremo,” which aired internationally via Sanermo, Italy in February.

2007: Parsons Dance was featured in the photography book and exhibit entitled, “The Dancer Within,” by photographer Rose Eichenbaum. The exhibit will tour around the country from spring 2008 through the summer of 2011, presented by the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

2007:  David Parsons was honored by the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction for his dedication, creativity and hard work with Arts for Medicine events over the past three years.

2007: Parsons Dancer Abby Silva was featured as a dancer On The Rise, by Dance Magazine in the May 2007 issue.

2002:  David Parsons was presented with the American Choreography Award for outstanding achievement in television for his work with AEROS.

2001:  David Parsons was presented with the American Choreography Award, for his work as a co-producer of AEROS, a production aired on BRAVO that featured the Romanian Gymnastic Federation.

2000:  David Parsons was presented with a Dance Magazine Award for his achievements in dance.

2000: David Parsons choreographed and directed the dance elements for Times Square 2000, the 24-hour festivities in Times Square celebrating the turn of the Millennium, which was watched by billions of people all over the globe.

1999:  David Parsons was awarded the National Artist Award by the University of Arizona in Tucson for his outstanding work with young people.

1995, 1989 and 1988:  David Parsons received Choreography Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

1994: Nebraska ETV Network presented a live broadcast of Parsons Dance and the Billy Taylor Trio performing their collaborative work, Step Into My Dream. 

1992:  David Parsons collaborated with Julie Taymor and designer Michael Curry on a film project called Fools’ Fire.

1991:  Danmarks Radio filmed Parsons Dance for a television program that was broadcast in the United States, Europe and South America.

1987:  Caught, David Parsons’ signature fusion of technology and art, was televised nationally on Alive From Off Center.

1985: David Parsons founded Parsons Dance with lighting designer Howell Binkley

David Parsons is the first and only artist to have been featured twice as “Artist of the Week” on A & E Television Network’s, “Breakfast With The Arts.”