FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2010
Contact: Michelle Tabnick, (646) 765-4773, firstname.lastname@example.org
PARSONS DANCE presents
Three World Premieres
at The Joyce Theater
January 26 – February 6, 2011
Parsons Dance returns to The Joyce Theater from January 26 – February 6, 2011, with three programs including three World Premieres, two new pieces by David Parsons and one by Monica Bill Barnes. Program C is a family-friendly afternoon for audiences of all ages. All three programs include David Parsons’ stroboscopic masterwork Caught. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC. Tickets begin at $10 and are available by phone at 212-242-0800 or joyce.org.
Parsons Dance will present the World Premiere of David Parsons’ newest duet, Portinari, inspired by the acclaimed Brazilian painter, muralist and political activist, Candido Portinari. Portinari created two 46-foot tall murals titled “War” and “Peace” for the United Nations General Assembly Building. They were donated by the Brazilian government and first displayed at the U.N. in 1957. When delegates enter the building, they see “War.” As they exit, they see “Peace.” The murals took more than four years to complete. In 1962, Portinari died at the age of 58, of poisoning from the lead-based paints with which he worked. The piece will be danced by Miguel Quinones, portraying the artist himself, and Sarah Braverman as his canvas and his muse. Parsons Dance will also present a second, as-yet-untitled, World Premiere piece by David Parsons, a reflection on the human traits of positivity and negativity, a group piece set to the music of Steely Dan.
Choreographer Monica Bill Barnes was commissioned by Parsons Dance to create an ensemble piece for the company. Love, oh Love, which incorporates details from everyday life, features music by Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. Barnes makes brazen, full blown dances interlaced with allusions to pop-culture and high drama. Fascinated by the moment when the glorious meets the ridiculous, her work celebrates individuality and humor. Lighting design is by Howell Binkley. Costume design is by Kelly Hanson.
Parsons Dance creates American works of extraordinary artistry that are engaging and uplifting to audiences throughout the world. It is the goal of Parsons Dance to make contemporary dance accessible to the widest possible audiences. In addition to choreography and performance, Parsons Dance positively impacts children, students, and communities through student performances, lecture-demonstrations, master classes, post-show discussions and more. Parsons Dance has a company of eleven full-time dancers and maintains a repertory of more than 70 works choreographed by David Parsons, twenty of which feature originally commissioned scores by leading composers and musicians, including Dave Matthews, Michael Gordon and Milton Nascimento. Parsons Dance has collaborated with many other leading artists, including Julie Taymor, William Ivey Long, Annie Leibovitz, Donna Karan and Alex Katz (to name a few). The New York Times called David Parsons “one of the great movers of modern dance.” New York Magazine referred to him as “one of modern dance’s great living dance-makers.”
“Awesome dancing and a backbeat to knock it all home. Eye-popping digital effects. Excellent showbiz-savvy performers. Perpetually smoldering. Lusty, sensual movement.”
-Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
Dancers: Eric Bourne, Sarah Braverman, Elena D’Amario, Abby Silva Gavezzoli, Christina Ilisije, Jason MacDonald, Miguel Quinones, Ian Spring, Melissa Ullom, and Steven Vaughn
The three programs follow:
Wednesday, January 26 at 7:30pm; Saturday, January 29 at 8pm; Wednesday, February 2 at 7:30pm; Thursday, February 3 at 8pm; Saturday, February 5 at 8pm; and Sunday, February 6 at 7:30 pm;
The Envelope, Sleep Study, Mood Swing, Portinari, Caught, World Premiere of David Parson’s new group piece
Thursday, January 27 at 8pm; Friday, January 28 at 8pm; Sunday, January 30 at 7:30pm; Tuesday, February 1 at 7:30pm; Friday, February 4 at 8pm
Bachiana; Portinari; Slow Dance; World Premiere of Love, oh Love; Caught; Nascimento
Saturday, January 29 at 2pm; Sunday, January 30 at 2pm; Saturday, February 5 at 2pm; Sunday February 6 at 2pm
The Envelope; Sleep Study; Hand Dance; World Premiere of Love, oh Love; World Premiere of David Parson’s new group piece; Caught
The Envelope (1986) is a farcical and hysterical romp where the dancers are pitted against a renegade piece of stationery. Sleep Study (1987) is “a Busby Berkeley extravaganza that’s as compelling as it is hilarious” (The Globe and Mail) illustrating the universally recognizable tossing and turning of seven pajama-clad dancers who turn the stage into one large bed. Mood Swing (1994) is a commentary on our society’s fast pace and the use of antidepressants. The World Premiere Group Piece by David Parsons is a contemporary styled ensemble piece. The work infuses Mr. Parsons’ signature choreographic style with elements of light, sound, movement, rhythm and pulse. Caught (1982) is an internationally renowned stroboscopic dance masterpiece that features a solo dancer performing more than 100 leaps in less than six minutes. Each leap is “caught” by the flash of a strobe light, to create a breathtaking illusion of flight. Caught has been performed thousands of times, worldwide, for more than 27 years.
Set to Bach’s Orchestral Suites and Air on a G String, Bachiana (1993), highlights Parsons’ classical style as the paired dancers explore the formality and grandeur of the Baroque Era in beautifully patterned group movements. Slow Dance (2003) is a piece in which three couples are squished into a 12-by-12-foot square of light. Monica Bill Barnes’ World Premiere is a full company piece with major choreographic emphasis given to five core dancers. The piece celebrates individuality, humor and the innate theatricality of everyday life. An exuberant tribute to the Brazilian spirit and to the music of guitarist Milton Nascimento, who created the score as a gift after seeing Parsons Dance perform, Nascimento (1990) moves spaciously, floating on waves of seductive samba rhythms. Couples fly across the stage in sophisticated spatial patterns, abandoning themselves to the uninhibited thrill of dancing. A bright rainbow of colorful costumes, music, and lights, this inventive, imaginative, and uplifting piece proves to be a celebration of life, music, and dance.
Hand Dance (2003), a playful work set to the vibrant music of Kenji Bunch, features ten “hands” that decide to take on a life of their own. Through gesture and mime, five dancers offer an endless variety of imaginative evocations, from grasping and forming pistons of a locomotive to playing air cello. Imaginative and fun, Hand Dance leaves audiences laughing and begging for more.
Parsons Dance will perform January 26 – February 6, 2011 at The Joyce Theater, with performances Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday at 7:30pm; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm; and Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. There is a Family matinee performance on Saturday, January 29 at 2pm.
Opening Night is Wednesday, January 26 (Program A). The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC. Tickets begin at $10 and are available by phone at 212-242-0800 or joyce.org.
ABOUT PARSONS DANCE
Parsons Dance is committed to building new audiences for contemporary dance by creating American works of extraordinary artistry that are engaging and uplifting to audiences throughout the world. The company tours regionally, nationally and internationally. Since 1985, Parsons Dance has toured an average of 32 weeks per year, to a total more than 235 cities, 30 countries, six continents and millions of audience members. Many others have seen Parsons Dance on PBS, Bravo, A&E Network, and the Discovery Channel. Millions watched Parsons Dance perform live in Times Square as part of the internationally broadcast, 24-hour Millennium New Year’s Eve celebration. In New York City, Parsons Dance has been featured at The Joyce Theater, City Center, New Victory Theater, Central Park Summerstage, Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art and The World Trade Center.
Parsons Dance receives support from Bank of America, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Friars Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Lila Acheson Wallace Theater Fund of the New York Community Trust, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Nina W. Werblow Charitable Trust, The Shubert Foundation.
For more information, visit parsonsdance.org.
DAVID PARSONS (Artistic Director/Founder) has enjoyed a remarkable career as a performer, choreographer, teacher, director and producer of dance. Mr. Parsons was born in Chicago and raised in Kansas City. He was a leading dancer with The Paul Taylor Dance Company, where Mr. Taylor created many roles for him in works such as Arden Court, Last Look and Roses. He is a recipient of the 2000 Dance Magazine Award, as well as the 2001 American Choreography Award, for his work as a co-producer of AEROS, a production featuring the Romanian Gymnastic Federation that was featured on Bravo. Mr. Parsons has created more than 70 works for Parsons Dance. He has received commissions over the years from The 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, to name a few. His work has been performed by Paris Opera Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Nederlands Danse Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Hubbard Street Dance and BatSheva Dance Company of Israel, among many others. In June 2007, Mr. Parsons was honored to be the very first contemporary choreographer ever to stage work at the centuries-old Arena di Verona, in Verona Italy, where he choreographed Verdi’s Aida. The Arena is one of Italy’s most respected operatic venues. In September 2007, he directed and choreographed Gotham Chamber Opera’s production of María de Buenos Aires, which made its world premiere at a sold-out engagement in New York, at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Arts.
MONICA BILL BARNES is a NY based choreographer and performer. She founded Monica Bill Barnes & Company as a contemporary dance company with the mission to celebrate individuality, humor and the innate theatricality of everyday life. The company has been presented in over twenty venues in NYC including Danspace Project, Symphony Space, 92nd Street Y, Dancenow/NYC, Fall for Dance, and in thirty cities throughout the US. She has created twelve evening-length dance works, numerous site-specific events and several cabaret numbers for her company. Recent commissions include Another Parade, commissioned by the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival, I feel like commissioned by Dancenow’s 10 Year Anniversary Project, and Game Face presented by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s SITELINES Festival. She has been an invited Guest Artist at the North Carolina School of The Arts, Vassar College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Connecticut College, Florida State University, James Madison University, Steps on Broadway and Dance New Amsterdam. In addition, the company creates dances outside of the city through extended artistic residencies, college residencies and site specific performance projects with local community members. This summer the company made their Joyce Theater debut. For more information, visit www.monicabillbarnes.com
THE JOYCE THEATER FOUNDATION, INC., a non-profit organization, has proudly served the dance community and its audiences since 1982. The founders, Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, acquired and renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea, which opened as The Joyce Theater in 1982. The Joyce is named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther’s clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to establish the theater. One of the only theaters built by dancers for dance, The Joyce Theater has provided an intimate and elegant New York home for more than 290 domestic and international companies. The Joyce has also commissioned more than 130 new dances since 1992. In 1996, The Joyce created Joyce SoHo, a dance center providing highly subsidized rehearsal and performance space to hundreds of dance artists. New York City public school students and teachers annually benefit from The Joyce’s Dance Education Program, and adult audiences get closer to dance through pre-engagement Dance Talks and post-performance Humanities discussions. The Joyce Theater now features an annual season of approximately 48 weeks with over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 135,000.
The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC
January 26 – February 6, 2011
Tue, Wed and Sun at 7:30pm; Thu, Fri and Sat at 8pm; and Sat and Sun at 2pm
Tickets begin at $10