Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Friday night, Parsons Dance, an internationally known dance company, came to Swarthmore for a performance in LPAC. The performance consisted of six pieces, all of which were drastically different yet contained elements distinctive of Parsons Dance, such as incredible lifts, impeccable unison work, and strong association to music.
Parsons Dance’s signature piece, “Caught,” is a remarkable feat of concept, technique, and timing. This memorable solo piece features jumps and positioning framed by strobe lighting so that the dancer appears to be flying and floating through midair. The dancer has to time his jumps so perfectly that he is only visible in the strobe light at the peak of his jumps. The result is striking to watch.
Another impressive piece was “Nascimento Novo,” choreographed to music by Brazilian singer-songwriter Milton Nascimento. Intricately connected to the music, this piece is characterized by small group phrasework and a particularly beautiful, slow duet section. Similarly, the final piece, “In the End,” choreographed to Dave Matthews’ music, has upbeat, athletic composition distinguished by strong lifts and partner work.
Parsons Dance’s performance at Swat was a wonderful success. Not only did Swarthmore students attend the performance, but many also took a master class with dancer Abby Silva. Additionally, many members of the Swarthmore and Philadelphia communities came to campus to see this unique dance company.