MSUToday
Published: Jan. 21, 2020

Parsons Dance brings lively performances to Wharton Center

Contact(s): Bob Hoffman Wharton Center office: (517) 884-3115 bob.hoffman@whartoncenter.com

One of the hottest American contemporary dance companies, Parsons Dance, is coming to Wharton Center on Saturday, Feb. 22, for two performances — a sensory-friendly matinee and an evening performance. Parsons Dance is known for its energized, joyous and athletic ensemble work, and artistic director David Parsons is viewed as “one of the greatest movers of modern dance” by The New York Times. 

This prestigious company has toured to more than 400 cities, 40 countries and five continents, performing more than 75 works created by Parsons. Constantly innovating, Parsons has received many accolades throughout his career, including three choreography fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Choreography Award, the Dance Magazine Award, a Howard Gilman Fellowship and the Dance Masters of America annual award. In 2018, he received the Capezio Award, one of the most prestigious awards in dance.

“The arts are a powerful tool for self-expression and communication,” Parson says. “My goal is to provide opportunities for more people to experience the wonders of dance.”

The program will feature two of Parsons’ most critically-acclaimed works — "Caught" and "Nascimento." "Caught" — a piece that tricks the eye into believing the dancer is flying about the stage — is what D Magazine calls “a visual magic married to unbelievable athleticism.” Nascimento has Brazilian influences and flavor, showcasing a true dance of joy.

The 2 p.m. sensory-friendly performance will provide a supporting and welcoming environment for those with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, sensory processing disorder and other sensory-sensitivities. At sensory-friendly performances, accommodations include lower sound and light levels, removal of all strobe light effects, an activities area with crafts and activities for engagement and designated quiet spaces.

Audience members are welcome to stand, move around and leave the theater as needed. Autism specialists and trained volunteers are on hand, and sensory supports like fidgets and earplugs are available.

Tickets are available to purchase at whartoncenter.com, at the Auto-Owners Insurance Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-WHARTON.