The Annenberg Center presents internationally renowned Parsons Dance, May 10 (8 PM) and May 11 (2 PM and 8 PM), closing the highly successful 2018-19 dance season. Tickets are available at AnnenbergCenter.org or 215.898.3900.
A New York City-based contemporary American dance company, Parsons Dance is celebrated for its energized, athletic ensemble work. The program features works choreographed by David Parsons – the wildly popular stroboscopic masterpiece Caught, Round My World, Hand Dance, Microburst, and Nascimento – and Runes, choreographed by Paul Taylor.
Founded in 1985 by Artistic Director David Parsons and Tony® Award-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley, Parsons Dance has toured to more than 447 cities, 30 countries and five continents, and has appeared at such notable venues as The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Sydney Opera House, Maison de la Danse, Teatro La Fenice and Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. Parsons Dance performs works selected from the vast and varied repertory of more than 75 pieces created by David Parsons. In addition, established choreographers like Trey McIntyre and Robert Battle are invited to re-stage works from the American canon on its dancers. And, through its newly launched GenerationNOW Fellowship, the company offers commissions to young American choreographers whom Parsons mentors through the creative process. Parsons Dance is committed to providing enriching experiences beyond its performances as it seeks to engage audiences of all ages through education and outreach programs; through post-show discussions, open rehearsals, studio showcases, video workshops, open company classes and summer workshops for pre-professional dancers; and in-school workshops for public school students. The company is especially proud of its Autism-Friendly Programs initiative, launched in 2016, that features sensory-friendly workshops and relaxed performances for audiences of all abilities. All of these activities are driven by the vision of Artistic Director David Parsons, who, for more than 30 years, has combined his choreographic gifts and talent for training highly skilled dancers with a real passion for the art form.
Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Parsons Dance, David Parsons has enjoyed a remarkable career as a director, choreographer, performer, master teacher and producer. Raised in Kansas City, Parsons moved to New York City at the age of 17 when he received a scholarship to the Alvin Ailey School. After Ailey, he became an understudy with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and then joined the company as a principal dancer. He stayed for eight years. During summers, he toured with MOMIX, appeared with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris in the first White Oak tour, and launched his choreographic career by setting work on the Taylor company and on the National Ballet of Canada, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Batsheva Dance Company and the Paris Opera Ballet.
After leaving the Taylor company, Parsons was a guest artist with New York City Ballet for four years before his artistic prowess led him to undertake such diverse projects as choreographing Aida at Arena di Verona and producing and co-choreographing María de Buenos Aires at the Skirball Center, as well as creating the choreography for Fool’s Fire, a 1992 film directed by Julie Taymor. Perhaps one of his most thrilling assignments was choreographing and directing the dance elements for Times Square 2000, the 24-hour festivities in Times Square celebrating the turn of the millennium. Parsons continues his involvement in diverse projects, with his most recent gig taking him to Japan, where he choreographed A Knight’s Tale, a new musical theatre work directed by John Caird. Staged at Tokyo’s iconic Imperial Theatre from July 25 through August 29, 2018, the work featured Japanese pop stars in leading roles.
In addition to the more than 75 works that he has created for Parsons Dance, Parsons has received commissions from 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, among dozens of others. Heralded by The New York Times as “one of the great movers of modern dance,” Parsons has received three Choreography Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment of the Arts; the American Choreography Award; the Dance Magazine Award; a Howard Gilman Fellowship and the Dance Masters of America Annual Award. In May 2018, he received the Capezio Award, one of the most prestigious awards in dance.
Photo Credit: Lois Greenfield
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