PERFORMANCE PRESS

And the dancers, dressed in jeans and checked shirts, perform with a lovely sense of spontaneity, none more so than Amber Sloan, who seems closer to the character of Annie than anyone else. When the piece ends, with a group reprise of “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” it’s over too soon.

-Roslyn Sulcas, NY Times

Out of everyone in Parker’s more active section, my favorite is Amber Sloan; fully committed to every movement, Parker’s piece seems tailor-made for Sloan with her noticeably long limbs and perfectly awkward, perfectly weird quirks. Love her….

-Meghan Frederick, iDANZ

Ms. Sloan performs a dream ballet, to “I Fall in Love Too Easily.” She has lovely extensions and a luscious final back bend, that de-constructs, becoming all angles, as she eventually melts in her sheer indigo dress.

-Deborah Wignet, Eye on Dance

When the stalwart Amber Sloan takes on Kazin and Petry in dancing to “Doin’ What Comes Naturally,” it’s the two men who start a variation on the famous “Dance of the Cygnets” from Swan Lake before Sloan joins to round out the trio.

These three performers embody the choreographic spine and the presentational soul of Parker’s work clawing their way to the top of the heap in a piece in which who gets what attention – from either the audience or potential partners onstage – makes up a large part of the comic subtext. One marvels at Kazin’s multiple pencil turns, fearless attack when lifted and repeated spiral descents from such lifts, Petry’s barefoot soft shoe; the redoubtable Sloan’s take-no-prisoners dancing and straight man’s sense of bewilderment when, for instance, she lifts Kazin only to find her face scissored between his calves.

-DJ McDonald, City of Glass, Arts and Culture

So, Parker, Kazin, and their dancing alter-egos, the glamorous Amber Sloan and the down-home charming Nic Petry, deliver the kind of tried and true showmanship that was also my first home before we all came Downtown (I hear the lights are brighter there).

-Maura Donohue, Culturebot

Sloan —quiet, sensuous—crosses the front of the stage in a corridor of light.

-Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice

The pellucid Amber Sloan slams onto a rectangle of bubble wrap (we’ve been itching for her to get there!), then contorts and rebounds, launching ricocheting pops against the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing “Waltz of the Flowers.’’

-Thea Singer, The Boston Globe

But most of the movement interest lies in further duets by Mr. Petry and Ms. Sloan, both ardent, engaging performers.

-Roslyn Sulcas, NY Times

Many troupes tout their fusion of styles, but Parker and company deliver the goods, from the elegant, campy Jeffrey Kazin to the sly and delightful Amber Sloan. She more than holds her own in a rhythmic bubble wrap stomp-off against Parker, set to Glenn Miller’s take on “Waltz of the Flowers.”

-Claudia La Rocco, Associated Press

Amber Sloan came out stage left with a six-foot length of bubble wrap, which she placed on the ground, rather as one would put down a beach towel to lie on the sand. Dancing in her bare feet, the sounds of her steps were soon created as the bubbles broke under her continually more energetic dancing. Her bravura performance was receiving applause when Nic Petry arrived stage left with a square , maybe 14”, of bubble wrap, laid it on the ground at his side of the stage, and was soon dancing as vibrantly as Amber, with as much sound effects, in that much constricted space. The audience laughed and applauded and hooted their delight.

-Francine L. Trevens, ART TIMES

And while we’re on engaging performers, Amber Sloan, in Sara Hook’s richly evocative “Rue” is a compelling mess.  Hook’s penchant for awkward and vaguely discomforting heroines is well met by Sloan.  She’s a discarded rag doll in hot pink hair and silver lashes whose violent falls make me flinch while keeping me thoroughly enthralled.

-Maura Nguyen Donohue, Danceinsider

The charismatic Amber Sloan joined Parker, Kazin and Kathryn Tufano for a disturbing finale, “Enough,” set to music by Rachmaninoff. The dance summons up a reckless party that’s gone way out of bounds, and everybody there is out to steal someone else’s date, without regard to gender.

-Theodore Bale, Boston Herald

The dancers hold the audience in the palm of their hands, or perhaps, the arches of their feet. Their faces, as they react to each others antics, are just as expressive as their bodies and the comic timing is perfect. There’s No Business Like Show Business is ShowDown’s gleeful finale.  Amber Sloan, the only gal in the piece, transforms from a struggling rookie to a star, relishing the attention of the audience and the male ensemble dancing with her.

-Garnet Henderson, The Dance Enthusiast

Thus it was his oldest piece, a duet in silence called “We’re Not Married,” that fared best in this venue. It’s a tight piece and works in a tight space. The mordantly matched Jeffrey Kazin and Amber Sloan, in identical tight blue jeans, skinny white sleeveless t-shirts, and spectator shoes, essayed the soft shoeing percussive intercourse that makes this dance, whose sounds are its score, into an entire epic of a relationship. They were intense and interesting, and I loved seeing this piece from 1990 again. It would, in fact, be interesting to see it in various other ways—such as with two men, or two women—but I can’t imagine a better way.

-Nancy Dalva, Dance View Times

For sheer fun-not to mention a handy demonstration of how to fake tap dance sounds in bare feet-Amber Sloan bounces, tumbles and jumps and “taps” on a sheet of bubble wrap, performing with the exuberance of a child creating his own game, but also taking her cues form the musical beat.

-Susan Reiter, Dance View Times

Best of all was a stand-alone piece in which Amber Sloan went to great lengths to avoid a rectangle of bubble-wrap before plunging onto it and dancing to the sound of popping plastic and the “Nutcracker” snowflakes music.

-Jennifer Dunning, NY Times

Amber Sloan performed Rue (1998), an intriguing solo by Sara Hook Dances.  Wearing a bright pink wig and neutral-colored leotard and tights, she looked like an awkward, overgrown doll.  She twisted limbs against torso, tying herself in knots before thudding to the ground.  Treading the line between uncertainty and striving, the dance projected both humor and pathos.

-Wendy Perron, Dance Magazine