Saturday, January 29, 2011

David Parsons Dance

Photo: B. Docktor

Years ago I took a friend to see his first evening of dance. Afterward, I asked him what he thought. He said, "Beautiful people doing beautiful things with their beautiful bodies. What's not to like?" He could have been talking about Parsons Dance, at the Joyce theatre through February 6th.

World premiere Portinari, choreographed by Parsons, was inspired by Brazilian painter, muralist and political activist Candido Portinari and is a duet between the artist (the brilliant and seemingly indefatigable Miguel Quinones) and his muse. I (deliberately) did not read the explanation before seeing the piece, and I perceived it as a heartbreaking meditation on grief.

Another premiere, Love, oh Love, choreographed by Monica Bill Barnes to music by Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie and Diana Ross, explores the push-pull of relationships (including same-gender relationships, a welcome touch) with verve and humor.

From the established repertory, Bachiana, set to Bach's Orchestral Suites and Air on a G String, represents the best of David Parsons: joy and exuberance unfolding like sinuous machinery, each movement leading to the next with graceful inevitability.

And if you haven't seen Parson's signature piece Caught, you really, really, really must. You'll believe a man can fly.

(Seat N1, reviewer comps)

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