Below is an excerpt from a larger review I am writing about Parsons Dance. I thought that this work deserved some special attention! :
In Caught, an electrifying composition set to Robert Fripp’s “Let The Power Fall,” dancing dynamo Steven Vaughn performed countless leaps in swift succession, only to be caught at the height of each jump by the flash of a strobe light. With this lighting effect, Parsons created the illusion that Vaughn was running and turning midair, suspended indefinitely by some outside force. Vaughn’s freezes ranged from split-legged leaps to C-shaped sideward trajectories, and occasionally the image of Vaughn’s arm ticking toward the ground like the hand of a clock.
But Vaughn wasn’t always in motion; after especially physically challenging sections, he was spotlighted centerstage, standing still and sporting a sly smile. These well-timed moments might have suggested that Vaughn had been still along, if only his heaving chest would have cooperated.
Below is a video clip of David Parsons himself performing this incredible work. Though the choreography has changed a bit (For example, the dancer stands in stillness instead of returning to the slow, six-step circle), this video is a great demonstration of what it is like to view Caught live.
Caught was a visual masterpiece that, to be honest, left me dumbfounded. The dancer’s incredible physical strength and specificity, paired with the choreographer’s intricate lighting design and choreography make this work one to celebrate.
Did I mention that this work was originally performed in 1982? How’s that for choreographic innovation?