Parsons Dance Presents REMEMBER ME At The Joyce Theater 2/2-2/21
Parsons Dance presents REMEMBER ME, an all-new version of last season's collaboration with the lead vocalists of East Village Opera Company (EVOC), featuring the music of the acclaimed rock opera band at The Joyce Theater from February 2-21, 2010. Following last season's World Premiere at The Joyce Theater, a PBS Special and a year-long national tour, REMEMBER ME returns to NYC with new choreography, lighting design by Tony Award-winning designer Howell Binkley and costume design by Project Runway designer Austin Scarlett. Program A features REMEMBER ME with EVOC's two lead vocalists live onstage with Parsons Dance. Programs B and C will feature Parsons Dance favorites including the stroboscopic Caught. Opening Night on February 2, 2010 will begin with David Parsons performing the first movement of Caught followed by the premiere of the all-new version of REMEMBER ME.
"Awesome dancing and a backbeat to knock it all home. Eye-popping digital effects. Excellent showbiz-savvy performers. Perpetually smoldering. Lusty, sensual movement."
- Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
David Parsons, Tyley Ross (lead male vocalist and co-founder of EVOC) and AnnMarie Milazzo (lead female vocalist) have created a storyline that connects EVOC's signature operatic arias (fourteen songs from the band's albums) with David Parsons' original choreography. REMEMBER ME is a thoroughly modern re-telling of a classic story of a tragic love triangle. With contemporary dance, aerial dance, live and recorded music, video projections, complex digital lighting and visual effects, REMEMBER ME is the most ambitious production created by Parsons Dance in its 23 year history.
"After completing our first national tour of Remember Me, we are thrilled to bring this show back to New York audiences, in a completely revamped version," said David Parsons, artistic director of Parsons Dance.
EVOC's signature works re-imagine opera arias as popular songs, including pieces by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and Schubert. These classics collide with electric sounds from the golden era of rock and roll, pop, R&B, and soul, exploding into a mosaic of sound in a triumphant musical celebration. They have received commissions to pen new works from both the New York Public Theatre and New York City Opera, with whom they have also performed at Lincoln Center. EVOC alternately headlines in prestigious classical concert halls and rock clubs, and records exclusively for Decca/Universal records. They have released three CD's. "Pop-infused, hard-hitting arrangements of arias and ensembles from classic operas. The group has won fans among both opera buffs and rockers."- The New York Times
Parsons Dance creates American works of extraordinary artistry that are engaging and uplifting to audiences throughout the world. It is the goal of Parsons Dance to make contemporary dance accessible to the widest possible audiences. In addition to choreography and performance, Parsons Dance positively impacts children, students, and communities through student performances, lecture-demonstrations, master classes, post-show discussions and more. Parsons Dance has a company of eleven full-time dancers and maintains a repertory of more than 70 works choreographed by David Parsons, twenty of which feature originally commissioned scores by leading composers and musicians, including Dave Matthews, Michael Gordon and Milton Nascimento. Parsons Dance has collaborated with many other leading artists, including Julie Taymor, William Ivey Long, Annie Leibovitz, Donna Karan and Alex Katz (to name a few). The New York Times called David Parsons "one of the great movers of modern dance." New York Magazine referred to him as "one of modern dance's great living dance-makers."
Parsons Dance dancers are Julie Blume, Eric Bourne, Sarah Braverman, John Corsa, Zac Hammer, Lauren Putty, Miguel Quinones, Abby Silva, Billy Smith, Melissa Ullom and Steven Vaughn.
The three programs follow:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Sundays at 7:30pm; Thursdays - Saturdays at 8pm
(Program C performed on February 17 and 18.)
REMEMBER ME featuring the music of EVOC: Overture, Maria, Mari!, Habanera, Che Gelida Manina, Flower Duet, La Donna E Mobile, Ave Maria, Nessun Dorma, O Mio Babbino Caro, Una Furtiva Lagrima, Ebben? Ne Andro Lontana, When I Am Laid in Earth, Butterfly Duet
Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm - Family-Friendly Matinees
Wolfgang, Ebben, Nascimento Novo, Hand Dance, Caught,
Wednesday, February 17 at 7:30pm; Thursday, February 18 at 7:30pm
Wolfganag, Brothers, Swing Shift, Kind of Blue, Caught, In The End
Wolfgang (2005) juxtaposes the classical music of Mozart with the modern choreography of David Parsons. The three couples in Wolfgang create beautiful pictures throughout this piece, evincing their accomplished partnering skills. Various qualities subtly characterize each section of the piece. This dance highlights the dancers' technique and musicality, while underscoring their ability to make the constant motion seem effortless and fluid. Ebben is an excerpt from REMEMBER ME. Parsons Dance returns to the mesmerizing and exotic music of legendary Brazilian composer Milton Nascimento in Nascimento Novo (2006), exploring themes of sensuality, community and, above all else, the stunning cohesion of ensemble work. Hand Dance (2003), a playful work set to the vibrant music of Kenji Bunch, features ten "hands" that decide to take on a life of their own. Through gesture and mime, five dancers offer an endless variety of imaginative evocations, from grasping and forming pistons of a locomotive to playing air cello. Imaginative and fun, Hand Dance leaves audiences laughing and begging for more. Caught (1981) is an internationally renowned stroboscopic dance masterpiece that features a solo dancer performing more than 100 leaps in less than six minutes. Each leap is "caught" by the flash of a strobe light, to create a breathtaking illusion of flight. Caught has been performed thousands of times, worldwide, for more than 27 years. In Scrutiny (1987), David Parsons explores the societal pressures to conform. This work premiered with the Parsons Dance Company on August 25, 1987 in Beckett, Massachusetts, as part of Jacob's Pillow. Brothers (1982), "a physically charged duet that explores an ambivalent relationship without a wasted motion or gesture," is set to music by Igor Stravinsky and was choreographed by David Parsons and Daniel Ezralow. Swing Shift (2003), created for four couples and featuring compelling solos for female dancers, explores the human journey toward self-discovery through social interaction, as dancers "swing" and "shift" in order to couple, uncouple and couple again with another. A tribute to the 75 anniversary of the birth of jazz great Miles David, the quartet Kind of Blue (2001) was commissioned and presented at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy and features the music "So What" from Davis' "Kind of Blue," the best-selling jazz album of all time. A dynamic piece, the intense, theatrical and athletic In the End (2005), set to the music of the Dave Matthews Band, offers 18 minutes of high-energy, fast-paced, full-throttle dance as short bursts of pas de deux punctuate longer ensemble sections.
Parsons Dance will perform February 2-21, 2010 at The Joyce Theater, with performances Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday at 7:30pm; Thursday - Saturday at 8pm; and Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC. Tickets start at $10 and are available by phone at 212-242-0800 or joyce.org.
Parsons Dance will present a Gala Opening Night Celebration, GET CAUGHT IN THE THRILL OF IT ALL, a Tribute to David Parsons, following the opening night performance on February 2, 2010 at The Joyce Theater. The Gala Celebration will be held immediately following the performance at 9pm at Espace, 635 W. 42nd Street at 11th Avenue, NYC. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be followed by a dinner and celebration. Honorary Chairs: Froma and Andrew Benerofe, Rita and Irwin Blitt. Chair: Linda Stocknoff. Co-Chairs: Richard Kielar, Vickie Morris, Barbara Rohdie. Honorary Committee: Jody and John Arnhold, Victor Barbee and Julie Kent, Barbara and Theodore S. Bartwink, Howell Binkley, Dr. Michael Blachly, Sally Bliss, Cora Cahan, Fiorenza Scholey Cohen, John Corigliano, Beverly D'Anne, The Honorable Thomas K. Duane, Fe and Alessandro Saracino Fendi, Kelly and Alan Ginsburg, Lois Greenfield, Judy Grunberg, Paloma Herrera, Denise Roberts Hurlin, Susan Jaffe, Neil Klein and SusAnne Jones, Terrence D. Jones, Ellsworth Kelly, The Honorable Liz Krueger, Toby Devan Lewis, William Ivey Long, Sharon Gersten Luckman, Kevin McKenzie, Judy and Luca Missoni, Stephen B. Morris, Milton Nascimento, Bebe Neuwirth and Chris Calkins, Moses Pendleton, Judith and Samuel Peabody, William A. Perlmuth, Hal Prince, Lawrence Rhodes, Martin Richards, Suellen Richmond, Antonio Gnecchi Ruscone, Robert A. Schulman, Stephen Schwartz, Margaret Selby, Jack Shear, Linda Shelton, Susan Stroman, Edward Strong, Patsy Tarr, Dr. Billy Taylor, Paul Taylor, Carol Walker, Bob Yesselman, Christian Zimmermann. Tickets begin at $700 and are available by calling Parsons Dance at (212) 869-9275 or online at nycharities.org/parsonsdance.
Parsons Dance is committed to building new audiences for contemporary dance by creating American works of extraordinary artistry that are engaging and uplifting to audiences throughout the world. The company tours regionally, nationally and internationally. Since 1985, Parsons Dance has toured an average of 32 weeks per year, to a total more than 235 cities, 30 countries, six continents and millions of audience members. Many others have seen Parsons Dance on PBS, Bravo, A&E Network, and the Discovery Channel. Millions watched Parsons Dance perform live in Times Square as part of the internationally broadcast, 24-hour Millennium New Year's Eve celebration. In New York City, Parsons Dance has been featured at The Joyce Theater, City Center, New Victory Theater, Central Park Summerstage, Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art and The World Trade Center.
David Parsons (Artistic Director/Founder) has enjoyed a remarkable career as a performer, choreographer, teacher, director and producer of dance. Mr. Parsons was born in Chicago and raised in Kansas City. He was a leading dancer with The Paul Taylor Dance Company, where Mr. Taylor created many roles for him in works such as Arden Court, Last Look and Roses. He is a recipient of the 2000 Dance Magazine Award, as well as the 2001 American Choreography Award, for his work as a co-producer of AEROS, a production featuring the Romanian Gymnastic Federation that was featured on Bravo. Mr. Parsons has created more than 70 works for Parsons Dance. He has received commissions over the years from The American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the American Dance Festival, Jacob's Pillow, the Spoleto Festival and Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, to name a few. His work has been performed by Paris Opera Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Nederlands Danse Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Hubbard Street Dance and BatSheva Dance Company of Israel, among many others. In June 2007, Mr. Parsons was honored to be the very first contemporary choreographer ever to stage work at the centuries-old Arena di Verona, in Verona Italy, where he choreographed Verdi's Aida. The Arena is one of Italy's most respected operatic venues. In September 2007, he directed and choreographed Gotham Chamber Opera's production of María de Buenos Aires, which made its world premiere at a sold-out engagement in New York, at NYU's Skirball Center for the Arts.
East Village Opera Company was formed in New York City's East Village in 2004 by Canadians Peter Kiesewalter and Tyley Ross. The East Village Opera Company turned the heads of New York's music community with a series of electric genre defying shows at Joe's Pub, the intimate venue housed by The Public Theatre. Initially meant as a one-off project, they were quickly signed to Decca/Universal records and met with universal praise from both classical and rock critics and fans. The Washington Post proclaimed that "Opera crossover acts are becoming a veritable cottage industry, but the East Village Opera Co. is markedly different." They have toured the world with a unique live show, combining a seemingly incongruous classical string section with a powerhouse rock band. Time Out New York stated that the group "electrifies the classics for a new generation." The Associated Press mused the band was "dramatic" and "mesmerizing" while the Wall Street Journal agreed, noting "The band rocks hard, and deranges the opera stuff with savvy skill." In a rare feat not many artists can claim, EVOC headlines around the world in both eclectic rock clubs as well as some of the most prestigious classical concert halls. The band's appeal is evident in both cases. The Chicago Tribune raved "Nobody puts a fresher, friskier contemporary spin on opera's greatest hits than the East Village Opera Company." The band has also performed at esteemed events such as the Sundance Film Festival, the Miss USA pageant (nationally televised on NBC), and the world-premiere of "The Da Vinci Code" in Hong Kong. EVOC's PBS Special "EVOC LIVE" was celebrated with an Emmy at the 2006 Emmy Awards. Their most recent Decca album entitled Olde School was nominated for a Grammy in the Classical Crossover Album category.
Tyley Ross (Male Vocalist / EVOC co-founder) A native of Ottawa Canada, Tyley started performing professionally in his early teens while still a student at Canterbury's school of the Arts. In the years since then, has been a street busker, a cartoon and voice artist, acted for the small and large screen, written and recorded two solo albums (his composition You Take My Breath Away was featured in the film Woman Wanted directed by Kiefer Sutherland and starring Holly Hunter), and he has performed as a guest soloist with orchestras across Canada and in the USA. After being discovered by Pete Townshend of The Who in 1994, Tyley was cast in the title role of the Canadian premiere of the Who's Tommy. For his work in that show, he was honored with the Dora Award for Outstanding Performance in a Musical. He spent the next ten years on musical stages across North America, including starring roles at the Shaw and Stratford Festivals, and on Broadway. In 2001, Tyley was introduced to Peter Kiesewalter and they began experimenting with recording opera arias in a variety of modern contexts. This project led to the release of the CD La Donna and the unveiling of the East Village Opera Company in 2004 with a series of acclaimed performances at New York's Joe's Pub. Within a year the band had signed a multi-record deal with Decca/Universal, and has since released two CD's: East Village Opera Company (2005) and Olde School (2008). Tyley has his master's degree in voice studies from London's Central School of Speech and Drama.
AnnMarie Milazzo (Female Vocalist) is a singer, arranger, composer and lyricist living in NYC. She has done the vocal arrangements for Spring Awakening, the Broadway musical at the Eugene O'Neill Theater; Next To Normal, which premiered Off Broadway at Second Stage Theatre; Bright Lights, Big City at New York Theatre Workshop; and the Paramount feature film "The Marc Pease Experience" starring Ben Stiller. Some of her most recent work includes a new musical Pretty Dead Girl, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival and is now being produced by The Araca Group in New York City, book by David Henry Wang. Also currently in progress is the musical Sea Change based on the Lois Gould novel, book by Karen Hartman. AnnMarie is the lyricist for Franco Dragone's Carmen, which premiered at The Jolla Playhouse and opened in Madrid in 2009. She is currently writing lyrics for Cirque du Soleil's, Le Reve, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. AnnMarie's singing credits include working with artists such as Angelique Kidjo on her Black Ivory Soul Tour also singing with Carlos Santana. She also toured with Jonatha Brooke and performed on her DVD Back In The Circus, shot live in NYC.
The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, has proudly served the dance community and its audiences since 1982. The founders, Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, acquired and renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea, which opened as The Joyce Theater in 1982. The Joyce is named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther's clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to establish the theater. One of the only theaters built by dancers for dance, The Joyce Theater has provided an intimate and elegant New York home for more than 290 domestic and international companies. The Joyce has also commissioned more than 130 new dances since 1992. In 1996, The Joyce created Joyce SoHo, a dance center providing highly subsidized rehearsal and performance space to hundreds of dance artists. New York City public school students and teachers annually benefit from The Joyce's Dance Education Program, and adult audiences get closer to dance through pre-engagement Dance Talks and post-performance Humanities discussions. The Joyce Theater now features an annual season of approximately 48 weeks with over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 135,000. Additionally, for the last five years The Joyce has co-produced Evening Stars as part of the River To River Festival in Battery Park.
The stage production of Remember Me is made possible by lead commissioning support from The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation; and Dr. and Mrs. Edward J. Prostic, in honor and memory of their daughter Elizabeth Anne Prostic.
For more information, visit parsonsdance.org and eastvillageoperacompany.com.