Wednesday February 2, 2011 - Back to The Joyce for another highly enjoyable performance by Parsons Dance. Tonight's programme opened with The Envelope (Enid Bloch photo above) one of David's early masterpieces, still wonderfully wry and pleasing today. The Rossini music (culled from his various opera overtures) sets up this sly piece in which all the dancers - clad in anonymous black with hoods and sunglasses - seek to hold onto or dispose of the letter. The piece is a true original and always evokes for me those first performances of David's works at the Pillow.
As for being original, Sleep Study is another witty, whimsical Parsons treat. Whether you are seeing these works (as Kokyat was) for the first time or the twentieth, they are amusing signature pieces that were especially welcome during this dreary Winter that we are endlessly enduring. The sleepers in their colourful pajamas have changed over the years but the essence of the piece always makes me smile, as does the quirky score.
Mood Swing is just that: a series of dances in which an entire catalog of mental states is depicted in duets and ensembles. Gaiety and shouting anger mark the ends of the spectrum, with an especially quirky little vignette for Abby Silva Gavezzoli and Sarah Braverman in which the exhausted girls shuffle around the stage, slouching from fatigue or boredom.
Portinari, David's duet set to the Barber Adagio for Strings, seems to get more impressive with each viewing. I first saw it at a studio showing last Fall, and Kokyat photographed a recent rehearsal (Sarah Braverman and Miguel Quinones, above). Sarah and Miguel are so expressively beautiful together.
Within moments of finishing his demanding partnering duties in PORTINARI, Miguel reappeared in his white trousers and sculpted torso to give yet another remarkable performance of CAUGHT (Gene Schiavone photo above). I would love to learn the source of Miguel's boundless energy; he gives unsparingly of himself at every moment that he is onstage. The audience whooped it up for the dancer all thru CAUGHT and his curtain-call was a veritable love-in. After bowing graciously he rushed off, only to bounce back after changing into another costume for...
...RUN TO YOU, one of David's newest creations. Kokyat and I recently watched a rehearsal of the piece (his photo above) and were glad of an opportunity to see it dressed and lit. To music of Steely Dan, the dancers in bright-hot reds with tie-dyed motifs suggesting another era move with propulsive energy thru a series of dances as the back-panel glows with ever-shifting richly saturated colours (all evening Howell Binkley's lighting designs were a huge asset to the presentation of David's works).
The Parsons dancers each get a chance to shine in this work as they step forward in pairs for some fine duetting (Abby Silva Gavezzoli and Steve Vaughn in Kokyat's rehearsal photo above) and the piece ends with a celebratory ensemble to the classic Steely Dan anthem "Reeling In The Years", a song that makes me feel old, yet happy to be alive.
Kudos to all of David's energetic, sexy dancers for delivering the goods with such flair. As individuals and as a team they are just so pleasing to watch. Photo: Kokyat.