Fasten Seatbelts, Prepare for Lift Off

Motivation comes in many forms. But rarely do you hear the words, like a cow before slaughter, as a singular muse. But then again, David Parker is not your ordinary choreographer.

This weekend Mr. Parker’s The Bang Group comes to the Yard in Chilmark. In his own words, he describes his approach to art as an essential way of being in the world. “I choreograph because I know of no other way to contend with the world. For me, choreographing functions a little like Temple Grandin’s ‘squeeze box.’ This wonder, also called a ‘hug machine,’ was invented by Ms. Grandin, who is autistic, after she observed the calming effect such a contraption had on cattle under duress. So, as with the cow before slaughter, choreography allows me to face what lies ahead.”

While that may sound quite serious (is this a dance that preludes death?) the result is far from heavy. Grounded in Mr. Parker’s vision of the world, his dances range from controversial social issues to ones filled with wit and optimism and humor. Be prepared to be astonished and delighted by his mashups of parody and ode, ballet and jazz, plus a bit of show tunes and showbiz, all told with athleticism and beauty.

The Bang Group performs tonight, August 5, at 8 p.m. and tomorrow, August 6, at 4 and 8 p.m. The 4 p.m. show is an abbreviated, free family performance.

For more details, visit or call 508-645-9662.