LSM Newswire

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Parsons Dance presents Remember Me, a World Premiere collaboration with EVOC - Jan 6-18




a World Premiere collaboration

with the lead vocalists and music of the

Grammy Award-nominated


The Joyce Theater, January 6 18, 2009

Parsons Dance presents the World Premiere of REMEMBER ME, a collaboration with the lead vocalists of East Village Opera Company (EVOC), featuring the music of the acclaimed rock opera band. Program A premieres the new evening-length work with EVOCs two lead vocalists live onstage with Parsons Dance. Program B will feature Parsons Dance favorites: the jazzy Fill the Woods with Light, Swing Shift, Ebben, My Sweet Lord, Shining Star, and the stroboscopic Caught.

David Parsons, Tyley Ross (lead male vocalist and co-founder of EVOC) and AnnMarie Milazzo (lead female vocalist) have created a storyline that connects EVOCs signature operatic arias (fifteen songs from the bands albums) with David Parsons original choreography. REMEMBER ME is a thoroughly modern re-telling of a classic story of a tragic love triangle. With contemporary dance, aerial dance, live and recorded music, video projections, complex digital lighting and visual effects, REMEMBER ME is the most ambitious production created by Parsons Dance in its 22 year history.

Nearly two years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the members of East Village Opera Company. We realized that a great deal of artistic synchronicity existed between our companies, and we began to discuss the possibility of creating a work together. Peter Kiesewalters brilliant arrangements have proven to be incredibly inspirational. Now we are about to present this World Premiere in January, said David Parsons, artistic director of Parsons Dance.

David Parsons choreography marries tradition and renewal in a way that physically represents what we try to evoke as a band. Its exciting to see our music take a three dimensional kinesthetic shape in his hands, said Tyley Ross. EVOC recently received a 2008 Grammy Award nomination, Best Classical Crossover Album, for their album Olde School (2008, Decca Records).

This piece is a strong departure from David Parsons signature themes, representing a paradigm shift in the work of a legendary choreographer, showcasing Davids maturation as an artist and expressing the breadth of his enormous creative range, said David Harrison, executive director of Parsons Dance.

EVOCs signature works re-imagine opera arias as popular songs, including pieces by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and Schubert. These classics collide with electric sounds from the golden era of rock and roll, pop, R&B, and soul, exploding into a mosaic of sound in a triumphant musical celebration. They have received commissions to pen new works from both the New York Public Theatre and New York City Opera, with whom they have also performed at Lincoln Center. EVOC alternately headlines in prestigious classical concert halls and rock clubs, and records exclusively for Decca/Universal records. They have released three CDs, and are currently on tour supporting their newest release Olde School.

Parsons Dance creates American works of extraordinary artistry that are engaging and uplifting to audiences throughout the world. It is the goal of Parsons Dance to make contemporary dance accessible to the widest possible audiences. In addition to choreography and performance, Parsons Dance positively impacts children, students, and communities through student performances, lecture-demonstrations, master classes, post-show discussions and more. Parsons Dance has a company of eleven full-time dancers and maintains a repertory of more than 70 works choreographed by David Parsons, twenty of which feature originally commissioned scores by leading composers and musicians, including Dave Matthews, Michael Gordon and Milton Nascimento. Parsons Dance has collaborated with many other leading artists, including Julie Taymor, William Ivey Long, Annie Leibovitz, Donna Karan and Alex Katz (to name a few). The New York Times called David Parsons one of the great movers of modern dance. New York Magazine referred to him as one of modern dances great living dance-makers.

Parsons Dance dancers are Julie Blume, Eric Bourne, Sarah Braverman, John Corsa, Kevin Fitzgerald Ferguson, Patty Foster, Zac Hammer, Natalie Lomonte, Miguel Quinones, Abby Silva, Billy Smith, apprentice dancer Steven Vaughn, and understudy Trista Jennings.

The two programs follow:

Program A:

Thu 1/8, Fri 1/9 and Sat 1/10 at 8pm; Sun 1/11 at 2pm and 7:30pm; Wed 1/14 at 7:30pm;

Thu 1/15, Fri 1/16 and Sat 1/17 at 8pm; Sun 1/18 at 7:30pm

World Premiere of REMEMBER ME featuring the music of EVOC: Overture, La Danza, Maria, Mari!, Habanera, Che Gelida Manina, Flower Duet, La Donna E Mobile, Ave Maria, O Mio Babbino Caro, Una Furtiva Lagrima, Un Del Di, Ebben? Ne Andro Lontana, When I Am Laid in Earth, Butterfly Duet

Program B:

Tue 1/6 and Wed 1/7 at 7:30pm; Tue 1/13 at 7:30pm; Sat 1/17 and Sun 1/18 at 2pm

Family Matinee: Sat 1/10 at 2pm

Swing Shift, Ebben (an excerpt from Program A), My Sweet Lord, Fill the Woods with Light, Caught, and Shining Star

Swing Shift, created for four couples and featuring compelling solos for female dancers, explores the human journey toward self-discovery through social interaction, as dancers swing and shift in order to couple, uncouple and couple again with another. Ebben is an excerpt from REMEMBER ME. My Sweet Lord is based on the song of the same title by George Harrison and was originally choreographed for American Ballet Theatre. Fill the Woods with Light was inspired by David Parsons love of jazz and dramatic lighting effects. This ensemble piece features a commissioned score by Phil Woods, recorded by the Phil Woods Little Big Band. The dancers occupy the nocturnal world of jazz music, lighting each other with a variety of hand-held lighting instruments. Caught is an internationally renowned stroboscopic dance masterpiece that features a solo dancer performing more than 100 leaps in less than six minutes. Each leap is caught by the flash of a strobe light, to create a breathtaking illusion of flight. Caught has been performed thousands of times, worldwide, for more than 27 years. Shining Star is an upbeat, high-energy romp set to a series of disco-era hits by Earth, Wind & Fire. The choreography blends social dancing with a jazzy, smooth style that celebrates the party scene of the 1970s.

Parsons Dance will perform January 6 18, 2009 at The Joyce Theater, with performances Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday at 7:30pm; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm; and Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. There is a Family matinee performance on Saturday, January 10 at 2pm. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC. Tickets are $59, $35, and $19 (Joyce Members $44, $26) and are available by phone at 212-242-0800 or

Parsons Dance is committed to building new audiences for contemporary dance by creating American works of extraordinary artistry that are engaging and uplifting to audiences throughout the world. The company tours regionally, nationally and internationally. Since 1985, Parsons Dance has toured an average of 32 weeks per year, to a total more than 235 cities, 30 countries, six continents and millions of audience members. Many others have seen Parsons Dance on PBS, Bravo, A&E Network, and the Discovery Channel. Millions watched Parsons Dance perform live in Times Square as part of the internationally broadcast, 24-hour Millennium New Years Eve celebration. In New York City, Parsons Dance has been featured at The Joyce Theater, City Center, New Victory Theater, Central Park Summerstage, Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art and The World Trade Center.

David Parsons (Artistic Director/Founder) has enjoyed a remarkable career as a performer, choreographer, teacher, director and producer of dance. Mr. Parsons was born in Chicago and raised in Kansas City. He was a leading dancer with The Paul Taylor Dance Company, where Mr. Taylor created many roles for him in works such as Arden Court, Last Look and Roses. He is a recipient of the 2000 Dance Magazine Award, as well as the 2001 American Choreography Award, for his work as a co-producer of AEROS, a production featuring the Romanian Gymnastic Federation that was featured on Bravo. Mr. Parsons has created more than 70 works for Parsons Dance. He has received commissions over the years from The American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the American Dance Festival, Jacobs Pillow, the Spoleto Festival and Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, to name a few. His work has been performed by Paris Opera Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Nederlands Danse Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Hubbard Street Dance and BatSheva Dance Company of Israel, among many others. In June 2007, Mr. Parsons was honored to be the very first contemporary choreographer ever to stage work at the centuries-old Arena di Verona, in Verona Italy, where he choreographed Verdis Aida. The Arena is one of Italys most respected operatic venues. In September 2007, he directed and choreographed Gotham Chamber Operas production of Mara de Buenos Aires, which made its world premiere at a sold-out engagement in New York, at NYUs Skirball Center for the Arts.

East Village Opera Company was formed in New York Citys East Village in 2004 by Canadians Peter Kiesewalter and Tyley Ross. The East Village Opera Company turned the heads of New Yorks music community with a series of electric genre defying shows at Joes Pub, the intimate venue housed by the Public Theatre. Initially meant as a one-off project, they were quickly signed to Decca/Universal records and met with universal praise from both classical and rock critics and fans. The Washington Post proclaimed that Opera crossover acts are becoming a veritable cottage industry, but the East Village Opera Co. is markedly different. They have toured the world with a unique live show, combining a seemingly incongruous classical string section with a powerhouse rock band. Time Out New York stated that the group electrifies the classics for a new generation. The Associated Press mused the band was dramatic and mesmerizing while the Wall Street Journal agreed, noting The band rocks hard, and deranges the opera stuff with savvy skill. In a rare feat not many artists can claim, EVOC headlines around the world in both eclectic rock clubs as well as some of the most prestigious classical concert halls. The bands appeal is evident in both cases. The Chicago Tribune raved Nobody puts a fresher, friskier contemporary spin on operas greatest hits than the East Village Opera Company. The band has also performed at esteemed events such as the Sundance Film Festival, the Miss USA pageant (nationally televised on NBC), and the world-premiere of The Da Vinci Code in Hong Kong. EVOCs PBS Special EVOC LIVE was celebrated with an Emmy at the 2006 Emmy Awards. Their most recent Decca album entitled Olde School was nominated for a Grammy in the Classical Crossover Album category.

Tyley Ross (Male Vocalist / EVOC co-founder) A native of OttawaCanada, Tyley started performing professionally in his early teens while still a student at Canterburys school of the Arts. In the years since then, has been a street busker, a cartoon and voice artist, acted for the small and large screen, written and recorded two solo albums (his composition You Take My Breath Away was featured in the film Woman Wanted directed by Kiefer Sutherland and starring Holly Hunter), and he has performed as a guest soloist with orchestras across Canada and in the USA. After being discovered by Pete Townshend of The Who in 1994, Tyley was cast in the title role of the Canadian premiere of the Whos Tommy. For his work in that show, he was honored with the Dora Award for Outstanding Performance in a Musical. He spent the next ten years on musical stages across North America, including starring roles at the Shaw and Stratford Festivals, and on Broadway. In 2001, Tyley was introduced to Peter Kiesewalter and they began experimenting with recording opera arias in a variety of modern contexts. This project led to the release of the CD La Donna and the unveiling of the East Village Opera Company in 2004 with a series of acclaimed performances at New Yorks Joes Pub. Within a year the band had signed a multi-record deal with Decca/Universal, and has since released two CDs: East Village Opera Company (2005) and Olde School (2008). Tyley has his masters degree in voice studies from Londons Central School of Speech and Drama.

AnnMarie Milazzo (Female Vocalist) is a singer, arranger, composer and lyricist living in NYC. She has done the vocal arrangements for Spring Awakening, the Broadway musical at the Eugene ONeill Theater; Next To Normal, which premiered Off Broadway at Second Stage Theatre; Bright Lights, Big City at New York Theatre Workshop; and the Paramount feature film The Marc Pease Experience starring Ben Stiller. Some of her most recent work includes a new musical Pretty Dead Girl, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival and is now being produced by the Araca Group in New York City, book by David Henry Wang. Also currently in progress is the musical Sea Change based on the Lois Gould novel, book by Karen Hartman. AnnMarie is the lyricist for Franco Dragones Carmen,Madrid, 2009. She is currently writing lyrics for Cirque du Soleils, Le Reve, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. AnnMaries singing credits include working with artists such as Angelique Kidjo on her Black Ivory Soul Tour also singing with Carlos Santana. She also toured with Jonatha Brooke and performed on her DVD Back In The Circus, shot live in NYC. which premiered at The Jolla Playhouse and will open in

The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, has proudly served the dance community and its audiences since 1982. The founders, Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, acquired and renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea, which opened as The Joyce Theater in 1982. The Joyce is named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsthers clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to establish the theater. One of the only theaters built by dancers for dance, The Joyce Theater has provided an intimate and elegant New York home for more than 290 domestic and international companies. The Joyce has also commissioned more than 130 new dances since 1992. In 1996, The Joyce created Joyce SoHo, a dance center providing highly subsidized rehearsal and performance space to hundreds of dance artists. New York City public school students and teachers annually benefit from The Joyces Dance Education Program, and adult audiences get closer to dance through pre-engagement Dance Talks and post-performance Humanities discussions. The Joyce Theater now features an annual season of approximately 48 weeks with over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 135,000. Additionally, for the last five years The Joyce has co-produced Evening Stars as part of the River To River Festival in Battery Park.

The World Premiere production is made possible by lead commissioning support from The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation; and Dr. and Mrs. Edward Prostic, in honor and memory of their daughter Elizabeth Anne Prostic.

For more information, visit and


The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC

January 6-18, 2009

Tue, Wed and Sun at 7:30pm; Thu, Fri and Sat at 8pm; and Sat and Sun at 2pm

Family matinee performance on Saturday, January 10 at 2pm.

Tickets: $59, $35, $19 (Joyce Members $44, $26)

JoyceCharge: 212-242-0800

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