PARSONS DANCE

Artistry. Energy. Strength.

text by Kathryn Brooks   photos courtesy of Scottsdale Arts

Parsons Dance is internationally renowned for creating and performing contemporary American dance of extraordinary artistry. Praised by The New York Times for its “athletic, industrious and enthusiastic dancers,” the company returns to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts ( SCPA) on Friday, March 9.

“We have fostered a relationship with Parsons Dance Company for over 20 years and it’s still exciting to see them because there is always something new and fresh going on,” says Abbey Messmer, interim director, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. “Their last engagement in Scottsdale was with the East Village Opera Company, so this year the audience will experience a totally different program.

With remarkable athleticism and extraordinary artistry, the company seamlessly fuses the movements of both classical and contemporary dance genres. Founded in 1985 by Artistic Director David Parsons, who was hailed by The New York Times as “one of the great movers of modern dance” and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley, Parsons Dance is based in Manhattan.

Internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading modern dance companies, Parsons Dance has spread the joy of dance to over 447 cities, 30 countries and 5 continents at the most notable theaters and festivals and for acclaimed presenters worldwide. The list of prestigious venues include The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Sydney Opera House, Maison de la Danse, Teatro La Fenice and Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro.

The company performs works selected form the vast and varied repertory of more than 75 works created by David Parsons. In addition, established choreographers like Trey McIntyre and Monica Bill Barnes are invited to re-stage works from the American canon. And, through its newly launched GenerationNOW Fellowship, Parsons Dance offers commissions to young American choreographers whom the director personally mentors through the creative process.

A firm advocate in the value of collaboration, David Parsons has joined with iconic artists across all disciplines to produce new and exciting dance programs. Participants include Dr. Billy Taylor, John Mackey, Kenji Bunch, Stephen Schwartz, Milton Nascimento, Allen Toussaint, William Ivey Long, Donna Karan, Annie  Leibovitz, Ellsworth Kelly and Alex Katz.

As for tomorrow’s performance, Messmer says, “We’ll be seeing work that was created in just the past couple years by David Parsons and Israeli-born performer/choreographer Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, mixed with audience favorites like CAUGHT, a Parsons’ signature masterpiece featuring a solo dancer that seems to defy gravity as dance and technology are fused.”

PARSONS DANCE

March 9 at 8 p.m.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

www.scottsdalearts.org