Perpich News

Perpich Students Attend Performance of “The Mood Room” at Walker Art Center, Meet Annie-B Parson, Choreographer and Director

Annie-B Parson, Choreographer and Director, met with Perpich students before the February 8th performance.

February 12, 2024

Perpich students and Tory Peterson, Theater Instructor, attended the February 8th performance of Big Dance Theater’s “The Mood Room” at the Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater. Prior to the performance, students met with Annie-B Parson, Choreographer and Director.

About the Performance: “It’s hard to do justice to the freewheeling brilliance of Big Dance Theater.” —New York Times

Five sisters at a family reunion in 1970s Los Angeles set the stage for an ingenious theatrical work by Big Dance Theater’s director Annie-B Parson. Heightening perceptions of class, privilege, and the growing self-involvement of the new “me” generation, “The Mood Room” dazzles through a blend of film, movement, music, puzzles, and dry wit. This critique of how class and wealth have changed our relationship to citizenry features text by ’70s conceptual artist Guy de Cointet and a score by pop-electronic sound artist Holly Herndon.

Big Dance Theater, “The Mood Room”. Photo: Maria Baranova

Choreographer Annie-B Parson is the artistic director of OBIE and BESSIE award-winning Big Dance Theater, which she co-founded in 1991 with Molly Hickok and Paul Lazar. Outside of her company, some of the artists she has worked with include David Byrne, David Bowie, Lorde, St. Vincent, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Wendy Whelan, Anne Carson, Esperanza Spalding, Suzan-Lori Parks, Laurie Anderson, Salt n Pepa, and Jonathan Demme. Additionally Parson has created two large scale works for the Martha Graham Dance Company, and for the Sadlers Wells Company of Elders. Parson choreographed and did musical staging for David Byrne’s Tony Award winning American Utopia, a world tour that ran on Broadway, and was made into a film by Spike Lee. She choreographed Byrne’s musical Here Lies Love, on Broadway, as well as his tours with Brian Eno, and with St. Vincent. She also choreographed two concert tours for St. Vincent, and is presently working with her on an unannounced project. Parson recently choreographed two operas: Candide at the Lyon Opera, and The Hours at The Met starring Rene Fleming, which will be remounted this spring. Parson’s writing has been published in The Atlantic, and The Paris Review; her recent book The Choreography of Everyday Life is published by Verso Press. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Bessie Awards, The Jacobs Pillow Dance Award, the USA Artist Award, The Doris Duke Artist Award, The Foundation for Contemporary Art, two Lucille Lortel nominations, and an Olivier nomination. She has been honored by Danspace, and by PS122. With Thomas F. DeFrantz, she is co-editing a book entitled: Dance History(s): Imagination as a Form of Study. Upcoming is a project with Khruangbin.