Since 1991, Big Dance Theater – led by Annie-B Parson – has been weaving dance, music, text and visual design into an award-winning, wide-ranging body of work.

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… 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. 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.

Learn more about the company in our Indefinite Article – a conversation between Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar – and join us for the NYU Skirball Book Club on Friday, Nov 8, 2019. We’re reading Yukiko Motoya’s short story collection, The Lonesome Bodybuilder

Office Hours

Get Into It

The Road Awaits Us - Trailer
"The Road Awaits Us" Excerpt
Cage Shuffle excerpted
"Cage Shuffle" Excerpt
Big Dance Theater in rehearsal

Get Thee to the LIbrary

Recommended readings to accompany the Indefinite Article by Paul Lazar and Annie-B Parson.

John Cage, Silence. Wesleyan University Press, 1961.

John Haskell, The Complete Ballet: A Fictional Essay in Five Acts. Graywolf Press, 2017.

Eugene Ionesco, Notes and Counter Notes: Writings on the Theater. Grove Press, 1964. 

Mark Strand, The Making of a Poem. W. W. Norton & Company, 2001.

Paul Strathern, Wittgenstein in 90 Minutes. Rowman & Littlefield, 1996.

Read All About It

Bomb Magazine | Oct 1, 2007

Big Dance Theater by John Haskell

I got a taste of how they worked: slowly, and improvisationally, with layer upon layer of meaning folded into the piece.

Jacob's Pillow | Dance Interactive

Annie-B Parson by Maura Keefe

Fractious critical response to the plays of Euripides is exactly the kind of territory in which Big Dance Theater thrives.

Movement Research | Nov 12, 2012

Conversations: Annie-B Parson and Sibyl Kempson

“I find even structural work can be extremely personal.”

Extra Credit

"How to be happy" header image, Glamour article

Big Dance Theater celebrates dance elders in The Road Awaits. Age and wisdom are not always dance partners, but octogenarian and children’s book author Judith Vlorst offers both in this 2019 essay: How to Be Happy? A Nearly 90-Year-Old Has Some Advice:

“What’s been your favorite time of life?” I was asked a couple of months ago. My answer astonished my questioner—and me. For instead of a choice that approximated when I fell in love, or gave birth to my first baby, or held my first published book in my hot little hands, I looked back on my 80-plus years, my nearing 90 years, and said, “Right now.”