For nearly two years, artist Kenneth E. Parris III has been embedded with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He is charged with the task of capturing the minute details of everyday life on the company's 'Legacy Tour.' This will be the final tour for the 58 year-old dance company, which is set to disband on New Year's Day 2012. Parris plans to document the tour in its entirety and has already released 11 graphite drawings documenting his journey.
Parris claims to favor "interpersonal relationships" in his subject matter. "I find a sense of drama and beauty in common life," the artist states in his manifesto. Parris shifts his focus from the physical feats of a professional dancer; choosing to focuse instead on the stolen moments between curtain calls. Like screen captures from a film, Parris' work grants real-life moments in cinematic immortality with a flick of his pencil. Like Caravaggio before him, Parris is a master of two dimensional cinematic lighting, which lends an undeniable sense of drama to the mundane.
Not unlike a war correspondent, Kenneth E. Parris III brings the audience visceral snapshots of life on the front lines of professional dance in painstaking detail. Now, you too can live the life of a professional dancer without completing a single pirouette.
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