Friday, March 26, 2010

Live review: Parsons Dance

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 1:14 PM

OK, I get it. Parsons Dance doesn’t have the brand recognition of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, so on opening night of their four-performance run, there were more empty seats at Knight Theater than there were back in February when the Ailey troupe began their epic six-day stay. But Parsons is a gas, a company of international stature, and their first program featured music by Mozart, Miles Davis, and the funkmeisters of Earth, Wind & Fire.

Their second program, to be performed Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, will feature the throwback music of Alfredo Catalani’s opera, La Wally, mixed with the grooves of Milton Nascimento and the Dave Matthews Band. Better yet, there will be repeats of choreographer David Parsons’ signature piece, the uncanny "Caught." My first live exposure to the stroboscopic wonder came last night with Miguel Quinones dancing the solo. Flashes of the dancer froze him in midair, so Quinones seemed to float gracefully around the Knight stage without touching the ground. Two other dancers perform the piece, according to the program, so I’ll be hoping to catch the levitations of either Julie Blume or Zac Hammer on Saturday night. The other lighting wonder that I witnessed was “Hand Dance,” featuring all 10 dancers in the troupe – but only their hands.

Program one repeats one last time tonight, but I’m confident you can’t go wrong no matter which program you choose.

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