In a rare treat, bay area residents have a choice of worthwhile dance performances from four companies this weekend. At the top of the list is one of the world's great companies, Parsons Dance, at the Straz Center in Tampa, as well as respected local groups at venues around Pinellas County. Here's a look:
David Parsons has been at the apex of the American modern dance world for a couple of decades, and some of the works he has choreographed for his company — including his signature pieces Caught and The Envelope — are instantly recognizable to dance fans. He was also one of the creators of Aeros, a fusion of dance and gymnastics that was hugely popular about seven or eight years ago.
Last year, Parsons created his first evening-length work, Remember Me, in which members of Parsons Dance are joined onstage with singers from East Village Opera Company. It comes to the Straz Center on Saturday.
Despite the name, East Village Opera Company is essentially a pop-rock group, though it draws upon familiar works from opera and classical music for much of its repertoire.
The work received awful reviews when it premiered in New York in 2009. A revised version earlier this year also failed to impress critics. But it's worth noting that Tampa Bay area dance audiences differ from New York dance audiences, and differ even more from New York dance critics.
The show is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. $39.50-$59.50 plus service charge. (813) 229-7827; strazcenter.org.
CoMotion Dance Theatre
CoMotion Dance Theatre, the resident dance company at St. Petersburg College, celebrates its 25th anniversary this weekend with a concert at the college's Clearwater campus. CoMotion, which is directed by Nancy Feagans-Smith and Cynthia Hennessy (also an artistic director of Moving Current), has developed a solid reputation. Choreography for this concert comes from college faculty and local guest artists. It's scheduled for 8 tonight through Sunday at the St. Petersburg College Clearwater Arts Auditorium, 2465 Drew St. $5; free for SPC students and staff. (727) 341-7984; spcollege.edu/spg/music.
'Dali & Dance'
Sarasota's Fuzion Dance Artists played to packed houses at the Dalí Museum in June when they performed Hello Dali, an original evening-length work inspired by Dalí paintings. This weekend, they'll be back at the museum with a similarly inspired concert titled "Dali & Dance: An Evening of Vignettes." Dancers will share the space with the museum's current exhibit, offering physical interpretations of Dalí's work, set to music by Scott Blum. The show is at 7 p.m. Friday at the Dalí Museum. The museum opens at 6 p.m. as part of the event. $15 general, $10 members and students. (727) 823-3676.
Tampa-based Moving Current continues to improve its artistry and expand its reputation. The recent addition of former Momix dancer Travis Mesman will no doubt help. On Saturday, the company will perform at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, basically reprising a concert from September in Tampa. Among the highlights are works by two acclaimed out-of-towners, New York's Neta Pulvermacher and Miami's Bill Doolin, plus pieces by Moving Current co-founders Erin Cardinal and Cynthia Hennessy. Tickets are $18, $16 members, $12 students for the 8 p.m. show. (727) 942-5605; tarponarts.org.