Parsons Dance Coming to The Joyce Theater

Parsons Dance, under the artistic direction of David Parsons, will present a season of premieres and favorites at The Joyce Theater from January 20 - January 31. Parsons Dance will perform a New York City premiere by choreographer David Parsons, along with a world premiere from former Parsons dancer and rising choreographer Katarzyna Skarpetowska. Tickets, priced from $10-$60, can be purchased by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 or via the internet at www.Joyce.org. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street.

Known for its sexy athleticism and stunning ensemble work, the company will perform the New York City premiere of David Parsons' Finding Center, a collaboration with visual artist Rita Blitt which was called "a joyous display of almost constant motion and invention" by the Kansas City Star. The company will also present the world premiere of Almah, a new creation by former company member and choreographer Katarzyna Skarpetowska with a commissioned score by Ljova , which will be performed live at all evening performances. This seven-piece band includes such instruments as a fadolin, a tuba, and an accordion, as well as a live vocalist. The program will also include Parsons Dance alumnus Robert Battle's percussive work Train, and Parsons' own Union, as well as Nascimento, named for the legendary Brazilian singer-songwriter Milton Nascimento, and the modern classic, Caught.

This year, the company will present four family matinees at The Joyce, offering audiences a kid-friendly repertory of Almah, Hand Dance, Train, Caught, and Whirlaway, the 2014 Parsons collaboration reprised in honor of Allen Toussaint. This will also be an opportunity for fans (young and old) to meet the dancers. These Family Matinees will take place on Saturday, January 23 and 30 and Sunday, January 24 and 31 at 2pm.

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

David Parsons (Artistic Director/Co­Founder) has enjoyed a remarkable career as a director, choreographer, performer, master teacher, and producer. Mr. Parsons was born in Chicago and raised in Kansas City. In the early years of his career he performed with The Paul Taylor Dance Company, New York City Ballet, Berlin Opera, and The White Oak Dance Project. Mr. Parsons has created more than 75 works for Parsons Dance. Commissions include American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to name a few. His work has been performed by Paris Opera Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Joffrey Ballet, and Ballet de Rio De Janeiro among many others. Parsons has worked on such diverse projects as Julie Taymor's film Fool's Fire , AIDA at Opera de Verona, Maria de Buenos Aires for Gotham Chamber Opera and Remember Me, a collaboration with East Village Opera Company. Mr. Parsons holds an honorary doctorate and was the first recipient of the Howard Gilman Fellowship to complete his masters. The New York Times has called Mr. Parsons "one of the great movers of modern dance."

Robert Battle was personally selected by Judith Jamison to succeed her as Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Battle had a long association with the Ailey organization as a choreographer and artist-in-residence. Since becoming Artistic Director, he has received critical and audience acclaim for expanding Ailey's repertory and he has also instituted a New Directions Choreography Lab. His journey to the top of the modern dance world began at New World School of the Arts and The Juilliard School. He danced with Parsons Dance Company from 1994 to 2001, and set his choreography on that company starting in 1998. His own Battleworks Dance Company flourished from 2002 to 2011. Mr. Battle has been honored as a "Master of African-American Choreography" by the Kennedy Center, and he received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA.

Katarzyna Skarpetowska is a native of Warsaw, Poland. She is an alumna of the NYC High School of Performing Arts and received a BFA from The Juilliard School in 1999 under Artistic Director Benjamin Harkarvy. In 1992, she performed on Broadway in METRO, directed by Janusz Jozefowicz. Ms. Skarpetowska was a member of Parsons Dance (1999 - 2006), where she performed lead roles in the company's repertory including the iconic CAUGHT. She danced for The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company (2007-2014), performing at many reputable venues such as New York's City Center, The Kennedy Center and The Bolshoi Theater, and was a guest artist with The Battleworks Dance Company and Buglisi Dance Theater. Her choreography has been performed by Richmond Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Theater II, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Parsons Dance, Buglisi Dance Theater, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2, among others.

Rita Blitt is an international award winning painter/sculptor/filmmaker. Caught in Paint, a six-minute documentary collaboration with David Parsons, celebrated dance photographer Lois Greenfield, and the Parsons Dance has won many awards and was screened in over 130 film festivals, including Cannes, where it was screened by Moving Pictures Magazine in 2008. Blitt's art celebrates her love of nature, music, dance and the spontaneous flow of movement captured in the drawn gesture. Her drawings and paintings, some of which become sculpture, are often created with two hands at once. She says, "When those lines come from my hands...I feel like I am dancing." Blitt conducts workshops where participants from all walks of life let their hands dance on paper.

Ljova has been hailed by the New York Times as "dizzyingly versatile... an eclectic with an ear for texture... strikingly original and soulful." Ljova (Lev Zhurbin) divides his time between composing for the concert stage, contemporary dance & film, leading his own ensemble Ljova and the Kontraband. Recent projects include commissions from the City of London Sinfonia, Brooklyn Rider, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, A Far Cry, and collaborations with choreographers Aszure Barton, Damian Woetzel, and Katarzyna Skarpetowska



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