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Elizabeth DeMent, Theda Hammel, Kate Moran, Myssi Robinson, and Michelle Sui in The Mood Room, Big Dance Theater by Annie-B Parson, November 30—December 5, Performance view, BAM. Photo by Maria Baranova.

In Conversation with Annie-B Parson

Credits:

By Alexis Jacquet, Fall 2021–Spring 2022 Curatorial Intern

June 24, 2022

Annie-B Parson is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Big Dance Theater, a company known for merging dance, theater, music, and visual design that celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021. Parson's work focuses on choreographing momentary realms––using a variety of elements such as “mood, tonality, and color” to engage the audience while releasing the need for linear structure.

From November 30–December 5, 2021, BAM in association with The Kitchen presented The Mood Room, Big Dance Theater’s latest production. Ahead of the premiere, I had the opportunity to interview Parson. Through my research into Big Dance Theater, I became particularly interested in Parson’s individual practice. I chose to focus on better understanding her artistic process and the inspirations for her craft. More than anything, I wanted to know: What has made Annie-B Parson Annie-B Parson? And, what has inspired her artistic development throughout her career?

The video interview below emerged out of email correspondence with Parson and Sara Pereira de Silva, the Executive Director of Big Dance Theater. Together, we conducted a video interview that provides an introduction to Parson’s mind and philosophies. In referencing her practice, the dialogue offers food for thought for those engaged with all mediums, sheds light on how we may all incorporate her philosophies into our daily lives, shares insight on establishing personal artistic voices, and more.

This virtual interview was conducted with Annie-B Parson in November 2021 ahead of the world premiere of Big Dance Theater’s "The Mood Room," presented at BAM in association with The Kitchen, November 30–December 5, 2021.

The Kitchen has been an ongoing supporter of Big Dance Theater and has maintained an over twenty-year relationship with the company. Big Dance Theater has presented four works at The Kitchen including Comme Toujours Here I Stand (2009) and Shunkin (2001), excerpts from which are embedded below. For more information about Big Dance Theater’s past productions at The Kitchen, visit The Kitchen’s Archive Website.

Kate Moran in Big Dance Theater, The Mood Room, November 30–December 5, 2021. Performance view at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Photo by Maria Baranova.
Left: Elizabeth DeMent, Kate Moran, Michelle Sui, and Myssi Robinson in Big Dance Theater, The Mood Room, November 30–December 5, 2021. Performance view at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Photo by Maria Baranova.
Kate Moran, Elizabeth DeMent, and Myssi Robinson in Big Dance Theater, The Mood Room, November 30–December 5, 2021. Performance view at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Photo by Maria Baranova.
Excerpt from Big Dance Theater, Comme Toujours Here I Stand, October 1–4, 2009 at The Kitchen. Videography by Iki Nakagawa.
Excerpt from Big Dance Theater, Shunkin, September 5–8, 2001 at The Kitchen. Videography by Iki Nakagawa.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

This virtual interview was conducted with Annie-B Parson in November 2021 ahead of the world premiere of Big Dance Theater’s The Mood Room, presented at BAM in association with The Kitchen, November 30–December 5, 2021. Produced by Alexis Jacquet, Fall 2021/Spring 2022 Curatorial Intern. Video Editing by Sara Pereira da Silva, Executive Director, Big Dance Theater.

Special thanks to Rayna Holmes and Matthew Lyons.

The Kitchen’s partnership with BAM was organized by Tim Griffin and Matthew Lyons.

CREDITS & FOOTNOTES

Video: Interview with Annie-B Parson, 2021. Videography by Annie-B Parson.

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