Sunday, April 13, 2008


Last weekend, Greg and I went to see the Parsons Dance Company at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.

We see a lot of shows at SCA, and every now and again, they are noteworthy.

We realized a while ago that the people who put the program together select artists that are unique, innovative, often well-known, but always interesting. We get to pay between $30 and $40 to see shows that probably cost over $100 in their resident locations. The amphitheater honestly has no bad seat. And our experience is always enjoyable.
We mostly go to the jazz, latin music and dance shows. The organization allows you to pay a "series" price when you purchase 4 or more shows from the whole program, so you are not restricted in your selection. We started out going to only 4, and as our salaries have increased, we have purchased more and more tickets; to the point where we are close to seeing every show in the program that interests us. I say all this because I think it exemplifies exactly how much we appreciate SCA (and if anyone lands here because they Googled it, I want to make sure that's understood).

Anyway... we see a lot of dance shows. They are always interesting and entertaining; and we are always impressed by the skills of the dancers. But last weekend, was a show that was remarkable. The only other choreographer that has made me speechless is Ohad Naharin, whose pieces we have seen performed by the Hubbard Street and Le Grande Ballet de Montreal.

Last week, it was David Parsons.
Every piece was energetic and fun and happy and positive. There wasn't even one solo/duet that had a little dramatic for the reason of being dramatic moment. The dancers were having so much incredible fun you could see it on their faces. They weren't just smiling, they were laughing, and ooh'ing, and connecting with each other in the exuberance of the choreography. The movement was creative and different, there wasn't any running in circles, or just running around to "use the whole stage". And specifically, here are the pieces of note:

Caught: who would ever thought that this was possible! a pairing between a dancer and a lighting person to truly take advantage of the strobe. You have to watch to believe!

Shining Star: Homage to the 70's.

Sleep Study: dancers in pajamas, sleeping on the floor - seriously, the whole piece was on the floor, moving around as you would in sleep! how come noone has ever thought of anything like that before?!

In the End: dancers in jeans! and T-shirts dancing to a medley of Dave Matthews Band music. Unbelievable! Its been a long time since I've seen music expressed by dance so effectively. If Dave Matthews has ever seen this piece, I'd love to know what he thinks because if I were him, I'd make it my music video!
If you watch the video for Satellite, you'll see that he finds patterns beneath the music that he brings to the foreground through the choreography... amazing! you'll never hear that song the same again!

Oftentimes you want to get up and dance in your spot when you see a show at SCA, but this time, I wanted to get up and run on stage to be with these people in this piece! I wanted to quit my job and start training all day so that I could be part of the Parsons Dance Company, and you know what... that's the first thing Greg said too when we walked out!

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