Parsons Dance Company

Carry Ahn: Trio with Parsons dancers
photo: Lois Greenfield

David Parsons's choreography played second fiddle to the live music that accompanied it. The Ahn Trio—sisters from Korea on piano, violin, and cello—charged the theater with energy and excitement. But the dances, old and new, revealed Parsons's indulgence in gimmicks such as sight gags dependent on trick lighting and his tendency, both eerie and maddening, to construct orgies of frenetic motion largely devoid of intellectual and emotional resonance. Granted, his dancers are thrilling to watch: lushly muscular, swift, and daring, each with a singular personality. But in the endless Swing Shift—one of the program's two pieces new to New York, both set to Kenji Bunch scores—where they're supposed to be revelers in a latter-day ballroom, they look trapped in a perpetuum mobile. A succinct companion piece, Slow Dance, fares better, because of its gimmick, which confines three sultry couples in a tight square of light. Sorry to be such a killjoy. Pay no attention to me. The dancers were gorgeous; the music, more than swell. The opening-night crowd yelped in delight.

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