II. The Envelope
First performed by Parsons Dance in 1984
Zoey Anderson ’15
Original Score composed by Gioachino Rossini
Re-created by Cheyenne Sykes
Performing May 4th & 6th at 8pm
Ethan Palma he/him Alexa Ratini she/her
Alicia Steeves she/her Rebekka Ryan she/her
Lauren Aureus she/her Heather Kroesche she/her
Erin Barnes she/her
Performing May 5th at 8pm & May 6th at 2pm
Nick Camarero he/him Kiyomi Davidson she/her
Sadie Wheeless she/her Ginabella Cardinale she/her
Frankie Levita she/her Evelyn Dugan she/her
Mia Murphy she/her
When David Parsons and Tony Award winning lighting designer Howell Binkley founded Parsons Dance in 1985, they knew exactly what they wanted to do: train dancers to develop the athletic prowess and technical skill that would engage audiences with the joy of it all.
He was a kid from Kansas City whose athletic talents surfaced early. He was a gymnast, a wrestler, a wild guy on the trampoline. When he was 9, his mother enrolled him in a summer dance program at Sunset Hill Academy, which was affiliated with the Missouri Dance Theater, a local presenter who often brought companies like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet, and Paul Taylor Dance Company to town. Through the Missouri Dance Theater, Parsons met Christopher Gillis, a longtime Paul Taylor dancer. Gillis encouraged him to come to New York City to learn more about dance, and to Parsons, it seemed like the right move. So, at 17, after graduating early from high school, he made it to New York on a scholarship to the Alvin Ailey School, an opportunity he further supported by cleaning the Ailey studios, accepting $100 a month from his grandmother and $40 a month from his brother, while also pumping gas on New York City’s Upper East Side. After Ailey, he understudied with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and then joined the company as a principal dancer. He stayed for eight years. During summers, he toured with MOMIX; he appeared with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris in the first White Oak tour; and he launched his choreographic career by setting work on the Taylor Company and on the National Ballet of Canada, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Batsheva Dance Company, and the Paris Opera Ballet.
Throughout his career, Parsons has created more than 75 works for Parsons Dance. He has received commissions from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, the Spoleto Festival, and Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, among many others. In 2018, he received the Capezio Award, one of the most prestigious awards in dance.
After leaving the Taylor company, Parsons was a guest artist with New York City Ballet for four years before his artistic prowess led him to undertake such diverse work as choreographing Aida at Arena di Verona and producing and co-choreographing María de Buenos Aires at the Skirball Center, as well as creating the choreography for Fool’s Fire, a 1992 film directed by Julie Taymor. Perhaps one of his most thrilling assignments was choreographing and directing the dance elements for Times Square 2000, the 24-hour festivities in Times Square celebrating the turn of the Millennium. Since then, Parsons has participated in many projects, such as choreographing A Knight’s Tale, a new musical theater work directed by John Caird, who previously directed the Broadway and West End productions of Les Misérables and the London’s National Theatre’s production of Candide. Staged at Tokyo’s iconic Imperial Theatre in summer 2018, the work featured Japanese pop stars in leading roles.
Parsons credits Paul Taylor for inspiring him to create good work and for teaching him how to treat dancers fairly, to collaborate with artists in other disciplines, and to be a generous mentor to the next generation’s choreographers. When he and Binkley started their company, Parsons was already an accomplished choreographer whose talent for creating high energy, accessible work was in demand among presenters and was revered by audiences who, to this day, embrace the notion that important art can be joyful, profound and fun. https://www.parsonsdance.org/
Zoey Anderson was born and raised in Utah, where she trained in contemporary, ballet, jazz and ballroom dance at Center Stage. She was the ballroom national smooth champion in 2010. Zoey graduated cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College in 2015 with a BFA in Ballet under the direction of Katie Langan.
She has performed works by Dwight Rhoden, Lar Lubovitch and Aszure Barton, among others. In 2013, Zoey performed with Nikolais Louis in the Yang Liping International Dance Festival in Kunming China. Other credits include the Broadway premiere gala of On The Town, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Dancing With The Stars webisodes, and Macy’s Passport Tour with P. Diddy. Zoey was nominated for the Outstanding Performer Bessie Award for her sustained achievement in Parsons Dance and Clive Barnes winner. Zoey joined the company in 2015.