Man in a Case (2013) Surveillance cameras, instructional videos, and the verbatim
text of turkey hunters coalesce with Chekhov in Big Dance Theater's new work, MAN
IN A CASE. In two short stories ("Man in a Case" and "About Love") the audience
follows two of Anton Chekhov's protagonists, embodied here by world renowned
performer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, in collaboration with Big Dance veteran performers and
designers. Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar bring their signature style of theater, dance,
music, and video to the world premiere adaptation of these two anti-love stories.
Ich, Kürbisgeist (2012) Big Dance Theater's new production, Ich, Kürbisgeist, written by Sibyl Kempson, is a theatrical piece of writing, but it is not a play in the usual sense. The language itself manifests the harsh landscape of a world facing destruction, populated by five crude people speaking a rigorous, specific, invented language. The characters are grounded in fear, absurd and doomed. They harvest pumpkin seeds; they sing; they dance; they reminisce. Their outrageous costumes, created by visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra, place us in an unspecified medieval European locale. Ich, Kürbisgeist, strangely comic, full of rawness, fragmentation, confusion, and superstition, is in the end a contemplation of language itself.
Supernatural Wife (2010) Big Dance Theater's newest work Supernatural Wife is an adaptation of the Euripides’ play using Anne Carson’s spare, surprising, and accessible translation. The production will penetrate Euripides’ piercing exploration of death, grief and self-sacrifice via a free-wheeling mix of theater, music, dance and video, thriving on the interplay of genres and sudden shifts in mood to reveal the cellular life of Euripides play. The play is taken from the mythic tale of a King, who avoids death by arranging to send a surrogate to the world below in his stead. His wife volunteers. At its core Supernatural Wife is about big complex ideas: our desire to live, against the immutability of mortality; our desire to be autonomous in the face of our undeniable inter-connectedness; and the playful nature of theater against the innate tragedy of reality. Sourcing and re-thinking the pulsing, profound nature of dance and music in tragedy, the Chorus will restore dancing to its rightful place in Greek drama.
Comme Toujours Here I Stand (2009) Comme Toujours Here I Stand re-invents Agnes Varda's classic New Wave film, CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 for the stage. Shot in Paris in 1961, the film tracks the early evening hours in the life of a marginally talented pop singer, as she waits to hear if she has terminal cancer. The Company uses the script as a found object to create an intimate portrait of a woman shadowed by death, while still caught up in the breezy pleasures of the day: shopping, visiting, strolling. The piece serves also as a critique of the flexible and facile nature of the medium of film, when set against the hand made qualities of live dance and theater.
The Other Here (2007) Layered with the company’s fearless fusion of dance, music and visual
design, The Other Here collides the rural stories of Japanese novelist
Masuji Ibuse (1898–1993) with a global conference of life insurance salespeople. Okinawan pop music and
re-inventions of traditional dance punctuate this
juxtaposition of master and servant, pop and ancient, East and West.
Plan B (2004) Appropriating Nixon’s secret oval office tapes and setting them against the diaries of wild child Kaspar Hauser, Plan B explores the dynamics of loyalty, trust and betrayal.
City of Brides (2004) Parson set out to choreograph this work in order to know more about Stravinsky, but along the way met another fan of Stravinsky, composer Richard Einhorn . City of Brides, a dance quintet for five women, is in equal parts indebted to Stravinsky’s Les Noces, the folkloric world of Stravinsky’s sources, and the musical spin-off created for Big Dance by Einhorn at the American Dance Festival in l995.
Antigone (2002) Mac Wellman’s text explodes this well-known myth into a heap of shards, imagining it eons before Sophocles’ first dramatization.
Shunkin (2001) Based on a story by the great modern Japanese writer, Junichiro Tanizaki, and juxtaposed with text from Dylan’s Don't Look Back, Shunkin follows the secret love affair of a beautiful, cruel, and blind musician with the man who is both her servant and her disciple.
Another Telepathic Thing (2000) splicing a story by Mark Twain with text from actual film and television auditions, a contemporary parable about faith, temptation, and transformation .
A Simple Heart (1997) A rich visual distillation of the Flaubert classic, depicting the obscure life of Félicité––a devoted domestic servant who endures the gradual loss of everyone around her.