Concert Review: Parsons Dance
Fairbanks Concert Association opened its 2012-2013 season with the high-powered Parsons Dance, a contemporary dance company of extraordinary talent, choreography and creativity. And Parsons Dance lived up to expectations.
If there is a signature theme to Parson Dance’s pieces, it is exuberance and energy. Every piece, without exception, is animated, filled with effervescence and enthusiasm. And that enthusiasm sets Parson Dance apart from other modern dance troupes.
The show included the charming and creative “Hand Dance,” in which only the dancers’ hands are lit and, to a jazz version of Orange Blossom Special, the dancers’ hands, and only their hands, “dance.”
The signature piece is “Caught,” in which the dancer is captured in mid-air, in execution of perfect jumps, by a flashing strobe, a stunning effect. The dancer appeared in mid-air, or in a full extension aerial split, or even walking across the front of the stage, two feet off the ground. The timing in the piece is simply exquisite. While there are videos of it on the web, the low sample rate sucks most of the energy and half of the images out of the pieces. This is something you have to see live.
Special props to lighting designer, Howell Binkley. The lighting was an important, integral part of the performance. It can’t be easy recreating lighting on the road. This was wonderfully done.
While the dancers were uniformly excellent, their styles and movement were each slightly different. Parsons Dance allows dancers to express themselves within the pieces, not fit to some specific style or standard. Part of the fun was seeing the individual personalities of the dancers, expressed effectively but without interfering with the synchronicity of the group as a whole. It’s subtly and effectively done.
Great fun, a great opening and fine groundwork for the 2012-2013 season.