about big dance

Founded in 1991, Big Dance Theater is known for its inspired use of dance, music, text and visual design. The company often works with wildly incongruent source material, weaving and braiding disparate strands into multi-dimensional performance. Led by Co-Artistic Directors Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, Big Dance has delved into the literary work of such authors as Twain, Tanizaki, Wellman, Euripides and Flaubert, and dance is used as both frame and metaphor to theatricalize these writings.

“A boldly arranged marriage of dance and theater that is equal parts classical and contemporary text, deft music-theater composition, gifted ensemble and inspired design. A constantly startling body of work.”
– 2002 Bessie Award

For more than 25 years, Big Dance Theater has worked to create over 20 dance/theater works, generating each piece over months of collaboration with its associate artists, a long-standing, ever-evolving group of actors, dancers, composers and designers. Big Dance Theater received New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards in 2002 and 2010; the company was awarded an OBIE in 2000 and BDT company members have received 5 other “Bessie” Awards and an OBIE award for their work with Big Dance. In 2007 the company received the first-ever Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award.

Big Dance Theater has been presented around the world including France, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Brazil and Germany and in the USA in venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, City Center, The Performing Garage, New York Live Arts, The Chocolate Factory, Classic Stage Company, Japan Society, Under the Radar, American Realness, PS122’s COIL Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Walker Art Center, Yerba Buena, On the Boards, UCLA Live, ICA Boston, American Dance Institute (ADI), Fusebox Festival/Austin, CounterCurrent Festival/Houston, and Spoleto Festival USA. Recent commissions have been from Les Subsistances in Lyon, Chaillot Theatre National in Paris, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Walker Art Center, Carolina Performing Arts, and the Old Vic/London.

Additionally, in 2013-2014, the artistic directors and design team were invited to create a commission featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov, and under the Big Dance Theater creative umbrella in partnership with Baryshnikov Productions, Man in a Case toured nationally to Hartford Stage, Shakespeare Theater in D.C., Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Broad Stage in L.A., ArtsEmerson/Boston, and the MCA/Chicago.

awards

2015 Olivier Award nominee (London) for Best Theatre Choreographer: Annie-B Parson (Here Lies Love)
2014 Prelude Festival’s FRANKY Award: Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar
2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award: Annie-B Parson
2014 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award: Annie-B Parson
2013 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship: Annie-B Parson
2012 United States Artists Fellowship: Annie-B Parson
2010 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for Outstanding Production: Comme Toujours Here I Stand
2007 Inaugural Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award: Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar
2007 Guggenheim Fellowship: Annie-B Parson
2006 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship: Annie-B Parson
2005 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for Performance (body of work): Molly Hickok
2002 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for Sustained Achievement: Big Dance Theater
2001 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for Composer, Another Telepathic Thing: Cynthia Hopkins
2000 OBIE Award: Big Dance Theater
2000 OBIE Award for Performance, Another Telepathic Thing: Cynthia Hopkins
2000 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for Performance, Another Telepathic Thing: Stacy Dawson
2000 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship: Annie-B Parson