Sunday, October 19, 2008

Parsons Dance Co.

Over the summer, Alex and I visited his Aunt and Uncle in western MA. We hade the chance to attend a performance by the Ballet Boyz at the historic Jacob's Pillow, a dance retreat where gifted individuals come to retreat and learn dance by a myriad of artists who visit the Pillow over the summer. The artists perform at the festival, a wonderful small theatre that looks like a barn on the inside and seats a very small number of people. Alex's Aunt and Uncle are members, and his Aunt described her experience over the years at the Pillow as enriching and feeding her soul. She was right, the performances (as well as the atmosphere) was amazing. Kind of like summer camp because of the setting in the Berkshires, but then also serious, because of the many many professional and talented dancers and performers walking around. It was a wonderful experience - one I'd like to repeat! So, occasionally, Alex and I try to take advantage of the discounts and free stuff associated with being a student here at Penn. A few weeks ago, I saw a promotion for $5 tickets for the Dance Celebration happening at the Annenberg Center here on campus. We rushed to the box office and bought a series of tickets for upcoming dance performaces ($5!! can you believe it??). Our first one was last night, the Parsons Dance Co. The performance was amazingly beautiful, with simple costumes that showed off the dancer's movements and the amazing abilities they have. The music was uplifting and energy-filled and the dancing was breathtaking. I wish I could move that way! I have no idea what it is about dance that really inspires me and lifts my soul. I love everything about it, the athletic ability, the amazing flexibility, the feats of movement, the gymnastics, even the running about on stage, puts a stupid grin across my face every time! They are best known for the performance of "Caught", a dance somewhat highlighted in the Youtube post below this one. The house lights go to completely dark, and the only thing you see is a dancer in the spotlight on the stage. When she begins to move around, the spotlight goes out and a strobe light comes on. At each strobe, she was in a different position on the stage, usually jumping in the air, making it look like she was literally flying around the stage - it was amazing! All of the performances were interesting and provocative. I loved every minute of it and did not want it to end! While I am no dance expert (and perhaps this is only one of the first dance shows I have been to) this company was wonderful. Their mission as a company is to "deliver positive, affirming and life-enriching experiences to audiences worldwide, through the medium of dance/movement". Well, they certainly accomplished that for this viewer! If they are coming to your area, or if you are in NYC, stop by to see them. I promise you won't be disappointed!

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