Parsons Dance at Knight
Posted on 27 Mar 2010 by Mitch Metz
”He flew… he flew… the dude freakin’ flew!” Those were the words I used, as I tried to explain to a friend exactly what I had seen this spectacular Thursday night at the Knight Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Parsons Dance rolled into town, and Charlotte, you missed it Thursday! You missed the greatest choreography this reviewer has ever seen in his 49 years of existance. Look, I know the rule is ”it’s not about you, it’s about the show”, but ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you something, I grew up picking cabbage in southern Wisconsin. I like my beer, drink my whiskey straight up, watch nascar, and have been a blue collar worker for 31 years. I am NOT some sissy dude, telling you how the arts are wonderful, and you should experience it all. I AM someone who can honestly say, I LOVE people who are the absolute best at what they do. David Parsons, in my opinion, is the greatest choreographer this world has ever seen.
The Parsons Dance Company has entertained audiences all over the world. They have more than 70 works under their belt, and are gracing the good people of Charlotte with an hour and a half of unbelievable entertainment.
The show opened with ”Wolfgang”, a series of three dances performed to the music of Mozart. The movement and fluidity of this number is to dance what Mozart himself was to music. The tune is familiar, but the vision takes your mind to a place you never knew existed. I found myself smiling, just sitting there with a big ol’ stupid grin on my face, because the sight of these 3 couples took me to an entirely new dimension in my cranium. The balance, the grace, the beauty touched me while the music set the stage for Mr. Parsons’ interpretation.
Next came the whimsical ”Hand Dance”. As advertised, it’s simply 10 hands flowing through space. So very simple, yet so very entertaining. Throw in a little mime, some silliness, and a very talented troupe, and you have an audience laughing, applauding, begging for more. What an amazing display of the genius of movement!
The first act ended with ”Swing Shift”, a journey through life. This number, more than the others, lends itself to different interpretations. While the program states it’s about a ”journey… exploratory sentiment”, I found it fascinating as a tale of society and individuality. Couples break away from the masses, and express themselves beautifully, each of them saying ”when we’re alone, just the two of us, life is so very, very good”. I especially enjoyed when a single female dancer stood in the spotlight, and visually told us she too is happy with life… that she too, although alone, is enjoying ”the good, the bad, the happy, the sad” that life gives her. With staccato movement, she says ”look, I’m a strong woman, I’m on my own, but I’m happy with my choices.” The entire ensemble nailed this number, and sent us off to intermission simply giddy about what would come next.
The second act was dominated by David Parsons’ signature number ”Caught”. Although choreographed in 1982, it’s easy to understand how this one dance has seen the stage for 28 years now. One dancer, one brief moment in our lives, and we are forever changed. This is not simply a dance number. The audience members are treated to a vision that all other sights will be compared to, for the rest of our lives. The artistry of movement, coupled with lighting and music, brought a Thursday night audience to their feet, offering up thunderous applause for this surreal experience. Yeah, ”he flew, he flew, the dude freakin’ flew…” rolled off the lips, but looking back, it was as if the poetry of movement was suspended in mid air, for all to absorb and consume. These green eyes have never seen such a spectacle, and I can not wait for Saturday evening to get here, so I can see it again. Sometimes, even a reviewer needs to say ”go see it for yourself… this can not be described”.
Thursday night’s show ended with some funk, as the troupe came out and danced flawlessly to ”Shining Star” and a few other well known hits. Again, the movement was so very fluid and lyrical, Mr. Parsons extremely talented dancers brought that ”smilex” smile back to my normally reserved countenance. You’ll tap your foot, you’ll groove in your seat, you’ll stand and clap and say ”he flew, he flew, the dude freakin’ flew…”!
Saturday and Sunday are going to be different production numbers, except for ”Caught”, but one things for certain… this is choreography that can not be missed. Maybe you’re a life long dance student, maybe you’re like me, and would rather put on a Dale Jr. hat and empty a few brown bottles… I will tell you one thing though, the David Parsons Dance Company will fill your senses with wonderment and awe. Please Charlotte, do not miss out on this entertainment. I personally guarantee you, you will thank me for the heads up! Playing at the Knight Theater through March 28th.