Last week, our theatre was lucky enough to be visited by David Parsons and his troupe from Parsons Dance NYC. The company spent five days in residence at the Thrasher-Horne, and during that time treated the community to two full performances and three dance intensives and masterclasses for local dancers. The Thrasher-Horne has a year history of bringing world class dance to Orange Park, and is able to make these yearly events happen through a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

On Wednesday, over forty dancers gathered on the mainstage for a two hour class administered by David Parsons himself, with help from his full company of four men and four women. Additionally, local filmmaker and Oscar winner Drew L. Brown was brought on board (along with accomplished percussionist Jonah Pierre) to create a site specific video highlighting the Parsons dance combination taught to the students that day. This video was later edited and screened prior to Parsons Friday evening performance.

Here are some behind the scenes shots of the masterclass and the making of the video:

Additionally, David Parsons ventured to Lavilla School of the Arts in downtown Jacksonville to host two masterclasses with dance students from the surrounding community. Those classes culminated in a live performance, also hosted prior to the Friday evening performance. Among those participating in this unique show was Dante Gonzalez, a twelve year old local dance protege enrolled at the Florida Ballet who has previously studied with the Royal Ballet of London and traveled the day after our performance to Toronto to audition for the National Ballet of Canada (highlighted below in the blue shirt).

Experiences of this magnitude are rare for residents of Northeast Florida, and we are proud to have a longstanding relationship with South Arts that allows us to bring world class dance to the students and audiences of the Jacksonville Metropolitan area. Parsons Dance was sublime, and we hope that everyone reading had a chance to experience one of their many offerings last week. For more information about our season and to purchase tickets for upcoming shows, please visit the Thrasher-Horne website.

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