David Parsons founded Parsons Dance in 1987 with lighting designer Howell Binkley. Since then, he has created more than 80 works for the company, through commissions from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, the American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, the Spoleto Festival and Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, among others. His works have also been performed by Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, English National Ballet, Feld Ballets/NY, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Nederlands Dans Theatre and Paris Opera Ballet, among many others.
He choreographed and directed the dance elements for Times Square 2000, the 24-hour festivities in Times Square celebrating the turn of the Millennium, viewed live on television by billions of people all over the globe.
Mr. Parsons enjoys a remarkable career as a performer, choreographer, teacher, director and producer of dance. He has toured and taught with his company on six continents. In September 2007, he directed and choreographed Gotham Chamber Opera’s production of María de Buenos Aires, which made its world premiere at a sold-out engagement at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Arts in New York City. In the July 27, 2007 issue of The New York Times, Jennifer Dunning called him “one of the great movers of modern dance.” In June 2007, Mr. Parsons was the first contemporary choreographer to stage work at the centuries-old Arena di Verona, where he choreographed Verdi’s Aida.
He is a recipient of the 2000 Dance Magazine Award, as well as the 2001 American Choreography Award, for his work with AEROS, a production featuring the Romanian Gymnastic Federation broadcast on the Bravo Channel. Mr. Parsons received the Dance Masters of America Award in July 2011.
From 1978-1987, Mr. Parsons was a leading dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, where Mr. Taylor created many roles for him in works such as Arden Court, Last Look and Roses. He has appeared as a guest artist with the Berlin Opera, MOMIX, the original White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the New York City Ballet, where he performed Barber violin concerto. Nureyev performed Mr. Parsons’ piece, Brothers, for six years.
As a director and choreographer, he has collaborated with such artists as John Corrigliano; Earth, Wind and Fire; East Village Opera Company; Morton Gould; Donna Karan; Alex Katz; William Ivy Long; Santo Loquasto; Dave Matthews; Milton Nascimento; Robert Rauschenberg; Steely Dan; and Billy Taylor.
Film: "Fool’s Fire", directed by Julie Taymor; "American Playhouse"; and Rita Blitt’s documentary "Caught in Paint."
Television: Bravo broadcast of "Aeros;" PBS production of "Remember Me," a world premiere production by Parsons Dance and the East Village Opera Company; Parsons Dance repertory production in Denmark; the hit Italian reality television show “Amici;” PBS production of Billy Taylor music with Parsons Dance’ and RAI television dance celebration of Pisa, Italy.
Commercial work: Audi, Mercedes, Chevrolet, Alfa Romeo, Lion pajamas and Flair magazine.
Fashion: Missoni, Trusardi, Ermenegildo Zegna, Roberto Cavalli.
Born in Chicago and raised in Kansas City, Mr. Parsons received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He is a recipient of the Howard Gilman fellowship at the Jacksonville University MFA program. Mr. Parsons has cultivated an educational partnership with Marymount Manhattan College, which hosts the annual Parsons Dance Summer Intensive.
Education outreach, workshops, lecture and demonstration events, and Master Class venues include Juilliard, Columbia Business School and UCLA.