founded Big Dance Theater in 1991 with Molly Hickok and Paul Lazar. She has choreographed and co-created over 20 works for the company, ranging from pure dance pieces, to adaptations of plays and literature, to original works combining wildly disparate materials. Her work with Big Dance has been commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The National Theater of Paris/ Chaillot, The Japan Society, The Walker Art Center, and has performed in scores of other venues. Her awards include a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2014), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award (2014), USA Artists Grant in theater (2012), Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography (2007), two BESSIE awards (2010, 2002), and three NYFA Choreography Fellowships (2013, 2006 and 2000). BDT received an OBIE (2000) and the first Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award (2007). Parson has been nominated for the CalArts/Alpert Award seven times and has received three Lucille Lortel nominations (2014, 2012, 2011). She was a YCC choreographer at The American Dance Festival where she worked with composer Richard Einhorn to create City of Brides, later seen in the Fall For Dance premiere season. Outside of Big Dance, Ms. Parson has created choreography for David Byrne’s HERE LIES LOVE at the Public Theater; his 2012 world tour with St. Vincent, and for his 2008/09 Brian Eno world tour. She also created dance for St. Vincent’s 2014 world tour. She directed and choreographed for the string quartet ETHEL at the Winter Garden. She created two works for The Othershore Dance Company that were seen at Ringling Festival and BAC. Her dances are featured in the film Ride, Roar, Rise about David Byrne. She choreographed for Nico Muhly’s opera Dark Sisters, Lucas Hnath’s …Walt Disney at Soho Rep, Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando, Futurity at ART, and The Broken Heart at TFNA. Since 1993 Parson has been an instructor of choreography at New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing. She has also taught nationally and internationally including Tokyo and Spoleto, Italy. She was featured in BOMB magazine, and wrote a piece for Dance USA on the state of dance/theater in the U.S. As an artist curator, she has curated shows including: the Merce Cunningham memorial, Dancer Crush at NYLA and Sourcing Stravinsky at DTW. Parson tours a lecture on abstraction called “The Structure of Virtuosity” to universities and for audience development.
Paul Lazar is a founding member and co-artistic director, along with Annie-B Parson, of Big Dance Theater. He has co-directed and acted in works for Big Dance since 1991, including commissions from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Walker Art Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Classic Stage Company and Japan Society. He recently directed the comedy Elephant Room at St. Anne’s Warehouse for the company Rainpan 43. In the Spring of 2011 he directed Young Jean Lee’s Obie Award winning, We’re Gonna Die. Paul is an Associate Member of The Wooster Group, acting in Brace Up!, Emperor Jones, North Atlantic and The Hairy Ape. Other stage acting credits include Young Jean Lee’s Lear, The Three Sisters at Classic Stage Company, Richard Maxwell’s Cowboys and Indians at Soho Rep, Richard III at Classic Stage Company, Svejk and Tamburlaine at Theatre for a New Audience, Irene Fornes’ Mud at the Signature Theater, and Mac Wellman’s 1965 UU. He has acted in over 30 feature films, including The Host, Mickey Blue Eyes, Silence of the Lambs, Beloved, Lorenzo’s Oil, and Philadelphia and will be in the next film by director Bong Joon Ho (The Host) called Snowpiercer. He currently teaches at New York University.