Since 1993, Co-Artistic Director Annie-B Parson has been teaching dance making at New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing. In addition to teaching at ETW, she has led artistic development workshops to emerging and mid-career artists in New York City, around the country, and around the world.

Ms. Parson and fellow company members Paul Lazar and Molly Hickok are available for workshops on a wide range of subjects including choreography, dance-making for directors, and generating material from scripts and literature.

“Ms. Parson, the Bessie, Obie, and Guggenheim Fellowship award-winning co-director of Big Dance Theater, had trained several waves of rising directors and performers at New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing. But very few people outside of the program had ever seen her teach.…The classes sold out in 10 minutes.”

– Helen Shaw, The New York Sun, “So You Think You Can Choreograph?”


For non-dancers and dancers alike, these workshops look at a formal approach to creating movement phrases and theatrical events. Students will work with ideas that include: manipulations of pure movement, the borrowing of theatrical devises, the use of found text and appropriation of historical materials. Students will be hyper-generative, making piles of movement phrases and theatrical events using rubric driven structures, and blending the boundaries of what is generally proscribed as theater and dance.

By creating work quickly from small and limited forms, the students will explore the expressive use of their choreographic/theatrical voice and gain insight into how postmodern performance-makers create work. These courses look at the use of abstraction – rather than narrative – as the central issue and leading theatrical event.


Performance Workshop with Paul Lazar

Participants discover the potential for unexpected theatrical moments in this workshop led by Big Dance Theater co-artistic director Paul Lazar. Pairing simple dance phrases with various texts and excerpts of music, Lazar shows how movement can change depending on a host of environmental variables.


In 2007 Annie-B Parson was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. With those funds she has created a lecture/video on the practice of mid-century choreography and the virtuosity of form. The talk, which is accompanied by video and a sound score, is entitled: The Virtuosity of Structure . Her chief interest is to present the practice of mid-century post-modern choreography and its history for the benefit of non- artists to become more comfortable with abstraction in dance and theater, by relating the elements of dance to other phenomena in our lives. This talk is appropriate for groups of any size and any background; it is introductory in nature.

More info here.

“I wanted to create this talk because I often sense a discomfort in the audience around abstraction and non-narrative work in both dance and theater, and I thought I would challenge myself to find an inclusive way to introduce the workings of abstraction. But in the end, the talk serves as a doorway for young artists and audiences of any kind to think about form, via the history of mid-century dance. This moment in dance seems to be a great entry point because in the 1960/70s, events on stage had been pared down to the elemental allowing you to see their inner workings. Fundamentally, I ask simply, ‘What do you see?'”

-Annie-B Parson