Parsons Dance comes to Sarasota March 20

The world-famous troupe combines grace, power and humor

mclear@bradenton.comMarch 14, 2013 

David Parsons' dances range from an absurdist piece about an envelope that refuses to be delivered to a lyrical portrayal of a Florida swamp, with music by everyone from Frederic Chopin to Dave Matthews to Steve Reich. But there's one piece audiences demand every time Parsons Dance comes to town.

It's a piece of choreographic magic titled "Caught," and if you've ever seen it you still remember it. On a pitch-dark stage, a single dancer appears to move through space, several feet above the floor, for several minutes.

"People get upset if we don't do it," Parsons said. "That's very rare in the dance world."

"Caught" will of course be the on the program when Parsons Dance comes to Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Wednesday.

Parsons Dance, which was founded by Parsons and lighting designer Howell Binkley in 1985, is widely regarded as one of the very best modern dance companies in the world. They're known for creating elegant dances that appeal to connoisseurs.

Among the other works on the program a new piece called "Round My World," which has six dancers creating a perfect circle with their bodies.

"It's kind of a far-out concept, but I went with it and it's beautifully presented," Parsons said.

The company will also perform Parsons' "Hand Dance," in which just the dancers' hands are visible, and "Kinda Blue," a jazz-influenced piece set to Miles Davis music.

If you can't make the Sarasota show on Wednesday, Parsons Dance will be performing the previous evening, at 7:30 p.m. March 19 at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. S., St. Petersburg.

Details: 8 p.m. March 20, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $30-$45. Information: www.vanwezel.org or 941-953-3368.

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