Parsons Dance Company trancends time and space with VPAC performance

At the end of the first piece at the Parsons Dance at the Valley Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 22, 2014 in Northridge, Calif. (Photo Credit: Hayley Hill/Contributor)

At the end of the first piece at the Parsons Dance at the Valley Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 22, 2014 in Northridge, Calif. (Photo Credit: Hayley Hill/Contributor)

Jasmine Burch

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Parsons Dance Company left the audience speechless Saturday night in its hour long performance at the Valley Performing Arts Center. The production made a fine spectacle, as eight dancers filled the stage with fluidity that defined both unity and individualism.

Under the artistic direction of David Parsons, the renowned modern dance company kicked off the evening with a brief introduction. The first number tapped into Eastern traditions, as the dancers mixed contemporary with Bollywood and Sub-Saharan African moves. Along with a vibrant purple backdrop, earth toned costumes helped emphasize the tribal theme.

The commencement served as a chance for each dancer to demonstrate their special skills in a solo act. And after a sneak peek of what was in store for the night, the audience knew they were in for a treat.

The second number wowed the audience again with an interpretation of “Brothers”. The hysterically funny piece travels back to the 1920s, paying homage to the silent film era. The two male dancers displayed brilliant choreography with a dramatic mix of circus arts and classical Jazz moves. This portrait of motion demonstrated why Parsons Dance is known for its upbeat and athletic reputation.

The beauty of this company is the well executed and thought-out designs, with each work of art overflowing with creativity and excitement. Needless to say, there wasn’t a dull moment the entire night. And after a brief intermission viewers scurried back to their seats anxious for more.

In a rendition of “The Envelope,” dancers express themselves mutely with gestures and abstract shapes to convey emotion and feelings in this energetic and humorous piece of social commentary. The story centered on an envelope, while its delivery and value begs the audience to question authority and accountability. The complex journey expressed a loss of identity and individuality in this short contemporary piece.

In a stroboscopic masterpiece, performer Steven Vaughn then dominated the stage with his magnetic performance, “Caught”. The five-minute solo was jam-packed with spine chilling choreography, strobe lights and electric hard rock. His technique was immaculate as he swiftly moved across the floor, while strobe lights created the illusion of dancing in mid air. Vaughn’s performance was nothing less than amazing, and left the audience in awe.

The program concluded with “Nascimento Novo,” which was choreographed by Mr. Parsons in honor of his wife Vickie. The piece was almost identical to the beginning of the show, this time bringing a little Latin and Native American flare.

It was a perfect way to end the night and by far one of the top performances the VPAC has seen.