Dance is coming on strong in Boise. This month you have a chance to dig deeper into the contemporary side of the genre with an internationally renowned touring company and several exciting projects by Boise’s homegrown artists.
One of the best American dance companies, Parsons Dance, makes its Idaho debut on Friday, Jan. 8, at the Morrison Center. If you loved the Trey McIntyre Project and LED, you’ll love Parsons. Co-founded by innovative and prolific choreographer and dancer David Parsons, the evening will offer a seamless mix of Parsons’ classics and new commissions, as well as works by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle and choreographer Natalie Lomonte (both former Parsons dancers).
The company also will perform McIntyre’s “Hymn,” a duet he created in 2007 that was not performed during the Trey McIntyre Project’s six years as a Boise company.
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“I was really happy to hear from David that he wanted to do this piece,” McIntyre says. “It’s great to see it have a new life.”
You’ll also see Parsons’ iconic 1982 piece “Caught,” a collaboration with lighting designer Howell Binkley that led to the company’s founding in 1985. In it, a dancer performs in pools of light and strobes that catch him in midair so it looks as if he is flying. Innovative and short, the piece also set the tone for this highly entertaining company.
8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8, at the Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise. Tickets are $29.50 and $39.50 at Ticketmaster.
Dance and origami
Choreographer and Off Center Dance artistic director Kelli Brown worked with costume designer Angela Rockefeller to create “Folding/Unfolding,” a contemporary piece inspired by the Boise Art Museum’s exhibit “Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami.”
Brown explores ideas of transformation, influenced by the ancient art form that can turn blank paper into nearly anything.
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, at BAM, 670 S. Julia Davis Drive. Tickets are $15 general and $10 for members; $2 discount for BSU students and employees, and Osher Institute members. BoiseArtMuseum.org.
This is the second collaboration between dancer and choreographer Lydia Sakolsky-Basquill’s Project Flux and Ming Studios, an art gallery that also doubles as an intimate performance space. In this untitled concert, Sakolsky-Basquill and her dancers create a structured improvisation inspired by Ming’s February installation of the Museum of Broken Relationships, an exhibit of international and local mementos of failed love.
It’s not as free form as it sounds. There’s a lot of structure in place, but the improvisation keeps the door open for something special to happen in the moment.
“Creating it has been a really emotional process,” Sakolsky-Basquill says. “Because the space is so intimate, it gives the dancers the freedom to connect with each other and the audience.”
Sakolsky-Basquill’s soundscape will range from Billie Holiday recordings to dialogue to silence. Plus, see a photography exhibit from Nate McIntyre, who documented Flux’s rehearsals, and on Thursday, Jan. 14, former TMP dancer Jason Hartley will open the show.
8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Jan 14-16, at Ming Studios, 420 S. 6th St., Boise. Tickets are $20 at Brown Paper Tickets. ProjectFluxDance.com.
Idaho Dance Theatre and Hollow Wood
The moment Idaho Dance Theatre Artistic Director Marla Hansen heard the music of Boise’s Hollow Wood, she knew it was something special.
“It’s got amazing layers of voice and instrumentation, there’s cello and percussion. There are dynamic rhythmic changes and the lyrics are really thought provoking,” she says. “It’s not your standard indie rock.”
The core of this trippy, rock/folk fusion band — singer Adam Jones, guitarist Hayden Jensen and bassist Jeff Bull Jr. — formed in 2010 and gained a regional following. (Their music has been featured on “Grey’s Anatomy” and other national TV shows.)
“Live” will feature Hollow Wood and IDT dancers on stage together. Hollow Wood will perform its old and new original songs, joined by drummer Bryan Konkol, cellist Mark Doubleday and other special guests.
Hansen loves to work with musicians and other artists, but this is the first time she’s orchestrated a collaboration on this scale. This is also the first time she dedicated an entire concert to one project. Every piece by the guest choreographers — Sakolsky-Basquill, Hansen, Hartley, Yurek Hansen, Casee Hogg and Gonzalo Valdez — will be to a Hollow Wood song.
Many of the choreographers worked with the band’s members to discover the origins of their songs, Marla Hansen says.
“It’s helpful to know their motivation to help me know how to approach the piece,” Hansen says. “For the song, ‘Oh, God,’ I wanted to know why they wrote it. The answer was not what I would have expected.”
7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28 (pay-what-you-can preview); 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Jan. 29-30; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31 at the Boise State Special Events Center. Tickets are $10-$30. IdahoDanceTheatre.org.