BWW Review: PARSONS DANCE at The Joyce is Extraordinary

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Delightful, vibrant and enticing. Parsons Dance makes a triumphant return to The Joyce Theater for their 2016 season now through January 31st. They are presenting new and celebrated American choreographers featuring works from David Parsons, Katarzyna Skarpetowska and Robert Battle. Escape the winter weather and enjoy this contemporary company that brings remarkable talent and passion to the stage, a hallmark of their success. We attended the Thursday, January 21st performance of Program A. The house was packed with dance fans who gave the troupe the enthusiastic reception they richly deserved. And with Program B on the schedule, Parsons Dance gives you a great reason to return to The Joyce several times this month.

The program opened with "Finding Center" choreographed by David Parsons with music by Thomas Newman. Six of the Parsons dancers are coupled in this beautiful piece that focuses on a group of pastels and paintings created within a five year period by artist, Rita Britt. Ian Spring and Elena d"Amario were featured in a stunning duet.

"Union" choreographed by David Parsons with music by John Corigliano is a dynamic human sculpture that features eight dancers in an entrancing interplay. Subtle lighting by Howell Binkley and costuming by Donna Karan are excellent accents to the piece.

The first half of the program concluded with "Train" choreographed by Robert Battle with music by Les Tambours du Bronx. The upbeat piece, with drumming tempos, displays the graceful athleticism of the company and featured an exciting solo by Sarah Braverman.

After intermission, "Almah" a World Premier piece choreographed by Katarzyna Skarpetowska featured a duet by Ian Spring and Geena Pacareu. The music by Ljova enjoyed a superb live performance. In Romance and Arabic languages, Almah refers to the essence of the soul. The inventive choreography and the passion of the six dancers creates a perfect collective.

"Caught" is a captivating dance choreographed by David Parsons with music by Robert Fripp. Elena d'Amario was stunning in the solo piece. Parsons also fashioned the lighting concept with lighting by Howell Binkley. "Caught" commenced with spotlights on d'Amario. Subsequent use of strobe lights created a freeze frame of her seemingly impossible jumps giving the impression that she was suspended in mid-air. "Caught" is part of the active repertory of Parsons Dance. Like many pieces in their repertory, it is one that you will look forward to seeing again and again.

"Nascimento" choreographed by David Parsons with music by Milton Nascimento was an extraordinary finale to an exhilarating evening of dance. This joyous and beguiling piece showcased the versatility of the full company with dazzling combinations and fantastic lifts.

The Parsons Dance company includes Sarah Braverman, Ian Spring, Elena d'Amario, Geena Pacareu, Omar Roman De Jesus, Eoghan Dillon, Zoey Anderson and Ahmad Simmons. See their 2016 New York Season at The Joyce while you can. It is contemporary dance at its very best.

Parsons Dance is an internationally renowned contemporary dance company under the direction of dancer/choreographer David Parsons. They are committed to building new audiences for contemporary dance by creating American works of extraordinary artistry that are engaging and uplifting to audiences worldwide. Parsons Dance tours nationally and internationally, including the annual season in its home community. Parsons Dance includes eight full-time dancers and maintains a repertory of more than 75 works choreographed by David Parsons. Since 1985 they have toured more than 350 cities, 35 countries, and five continents. They have been featured on PBS, Bravo and other stations.

Parsons Dance dedicates its 2016 New York Season to the life of their friend and colleague, legendary jazz musician Allen Toussaint (1938-2015).

Parsons Dance will perform at The Joyce Theater through January 31st. Their scheduled performances are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 pm; Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm; Saturday at 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm; Sunday at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 to $60 and can be obtained by calling JoyceCharge at 212.242.0800 or by visiting The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street. For more information, please visit: and

Image Credit: Lois Greenfield

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