Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Parsons Dance gives peek at Sarasota show

  Modern dance fans who have tickets to tonight’s Parsons Dance performance at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall are in for a profound treat.

   The company, arguably the finest modern dance company in the world right now, performed at the Palladium in St. Petersburg Tuesday, with much the same program audiences will see this evening (Wednesday, March 20) in Sarasota.

   Included in tonight’s program are “Caught,” Parsons’ trademark work of dance magic that has a solo dancer appearing to float above the stage for several minutes, and “Hand Dance,” a highly clever and amusing older work with only the dancers’ hands visible.

   Both were wonderful on Tuesday; “Caught” never gets old, no matter how many times you see it. But the newest  piece on tonight’s program, the multi-part “Round My World” from 2012 is just as enthralling.

  The concept is simple – it's just an artistic exploration of the circle – but it’s a joyous celebration of dance, music, geometry and the human form. The fact that all the dancers in the company are just about perfect-looking helps a lot.

   The Palladium is a treasure in St. Petersburg, but it isn’t a great theater for dance. Lighting is integral to Parsons – lighting designer Howell Binkley co-founded the company – and the Palladium has some technical limitations.

  Still, Tuesday’s concert was fulfilling and invigorating. Wednesday's show in Van Wezel, where the company can control the stage environment more fully, promises be even better.

   It starts at 8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets are $10-$45.For information, call 941-953-3368 or go to

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