Before joining Parsons Dance Company in New York in 2008, Eric Bourne said he was struggling to find his true identity.
In time, the former Midland, Mich., resident allowed himself to be consumed by his love of dance and became acclimated to the Big Apple.
“Once I had a job and something to do, the city didn’t become so large that it would consume my spirits,” he said.
Parsons Dance Company will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday at Wharton Center. The show will consist of varieties of dance acts, each designed to reflect the diverse selection of contemporary music.
Bourne said the show’s lineup will appeal to many students.
“The music ranges; we have a contemporary cellist, (and) our ending song is Dave Matthews Band,” he said. “We have a solo dancer using strobe lights to give the effect (that) he’s flying through air, and (he’s) one of the most physical, athletic people in dance you’ll ever see. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone.”
Throughout his time with the company, Bourne said he has been positively challenged by founder and choreographer David Parsons.
“(Parsons) kind of expects (dancers) to take risks with his work,” he said. “His work is physical, but there’s also deep, deep context … All of my dances have challenged me one way or another.”
Coupled with modern music choices, MSU associate professor and director of dance Sherrie Barr said it’s Parsons’ unique, easy-to-follow choreography that leaves audiences enamored.
“Sometimes people get scared about dance — that they may not get it and it may be awkward,” Barr said. “I think that Parsons invites people to enjoy the kinesthetic response of watching incredible dancers move.”
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities senior Maggie Martin said she is excited for the opportunity to see a live dance performance. She said she hopes students will gain a new perspective of dance as an art form, rather than a concept.
“If you’re going to expose yourself (to dance), you have to expose yourself to all kinds,” Martin said. “The fact we (have) a modern company (coming) is really important.”
If anything, Bourne said students attending the show are guaranteed to have their spirits lifted.
“Parsons pleases people,” he said. “Everyone leaves happy and inspired and thinking.”
When it comes to emotional impact, Barr said the effect of various art forms, including dance, can bring about significant results in a person.
“I think that performing art speaks to us and can touch our souls in ways we may not think exist,” Barr said. “Without art, we’d all be dead.”