Year: 2019-2020 DanceForce Member: James Lemons Artists: Christopher Chambers; Michael Megliola; David Parsons Community Partners: Lake Placid Center for the Arts; Open Sky Festival Audience: 115 County: Essex
In collaboration with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts’ inaugural Open Sky Arts Festival, DanceForce member James Lemons presented Parsons Dance Company on August 14, 2021- the final Saturday of the festival.
The mission of Parsons Dance is to bring life-affirming performances and joy to audiences worldwide and, through education and outreach programs, to sustain an appreciation for dance. They embrace the power of a diverse and inclusive company to enhance awareness and empathy, engage with audiences of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, lift us as individuals and bring us together. The envision a more positive, creative, and welcoming world because of their art.
All dances taking place during the evening were expressly selected for North Country audiences by David Parsons.
Originally conceived to be a residency by Palissimo Dance during the LPCA’s 2019-2020 season, the COVID19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the residency and a re-envisioning of the engagement. This project marks the first public dance performance since the re-opening for audiences in the summer of 2021.
The presentation of Parsons Dance as a part of the Open Sky Arts Festival is the final culmination of this 2019-2020 project and its fourth iteration/conception.
Originally envisioned to be a technical residency for Palissimo Dance, the pandemic forced the postponement/eventual cancellation of that project. The project was then changed to be a workshop and performance by MOMIX in summer 2020. The MOMIX performance got delayed to summer 2021.
As summer approached, MOMIX determined it was not able to mount tourable performances. Complexions Contemporary Ballet was instead scheduled for their performance date. The same fate befell Complexions as the performance date drew near, and a last minute substitution to Parsons occurred three weeks before the performance date.
While the artistic quality of the performance and audience Q&A was very high and audiences were especially receptive to the work, the large numbers of last-minute changes, rain the morning of the performance, and the rise of the Delta Variant proved a challenge in generating audience turnout.
However, the engagement did begin a relationship with the company that will be fruitful in the future.
Parsons will be returning to Lake Placid in September 2022 for a three-week residency focusing on new work. The residency will also include multiple masters/classes and workshops – including workshops in partnership with Champlain Valley Educational Services which provides educational opportunities for Special Needs students. Additionally, open rehearsals, a public performance, and a post-show Q&A will be built into the residency.
A network of dance activists working to increase the quality and quantity of dance throughout upstate New York.