Parsons Dance group returns to the Annenberg Center this week. KRISTA BONURA
Two stylish, moving premieres
Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013, 3:01 AM
David Parsons never disappoints. Parsons Dance opened Wednesday at Annenberg Center to a buzzing house of loyal fans. Two local premieres topped the first half, and classic 2003 crowd-pleaser Hand Dance slid in between - a sleight-of-hand piece in which five sets of highlighted hands, their owners shrouded in black, flit about disembodied to a Kenji Bunch composition.
I first reviewed Parsons in 1993 in Scottsdale, Ariz.; this is my seventh of the company. I always check multiple reviews just to make sure I don't repeat myself, and with Parsons that's easy, because he doesn't repeat himself - with the exception of Caught, his 1982 hit seen by millions. It's the strobe-light work where the dancer is constantly caught in the light in midair, walking, stag-leaping, or just standing nonchalantly en l'air, arms crossed. It's a de rigueur work in every concert, and here former Philadelphia dancer Steven Vaughn did the deed with sangfroid.
Round My World (2012) was an airy, warm dance with three couples in powder blue. It concentrated on circles made by the group, or by encircling arms around a partner. Melissa Ullom forms a circle with her body back-bending to hold her ankles while her partner holds her aloft. Elena D'Amario and Vaughn dance the second duet and Eric Bourne and Christina Ilisije the third. The dancers coil and wheel around each other in variations on the meme. By the lovely ending, the group form a hand-holding ring, half of them lying down so the circle formed tilts toward us.