Soloing on the page, choreographer Annie-B Parson rethinks choreography as dance on paper. Parson draws her dances into new graphic structures calling attention to the visual facts of the materiality of each dance work she has made. These drawings serve as both maps of her pieces in the aftermath of performance, and a consideration of the elements of dance itself. Divided into three chapters, the book opens with diagrams of the objects in each of her pieces grouped into chart-structures. These charts reconsider her dances both from the perspective of the resonance of things, and for their abstract compositional properties. In chapter two, Parson delves into the choreographic mind, charting such ideas as an equality in the perception of objects and movement, and the poetics of a kinetic grammar. Charts of erasure, layering and language serve as dynamic and prismatic tools for dance making. Lastly, nodding to the history of chance operations in dance, Parson creates a generative card game of 52 compositional elements for artists of any medium to cut out and play as a method for creating new material. Within the duality of form and content, this book explores the meanings that form itself holds, and Parson's visual maps of choreographic ideas inspire new thinking around the shared elements underneath all art making.
Annie-B Parson is a choreographer and artistic director of Big Dance Theater. Parson has also made choreography for rock shows, marching bands, symphonies, movies, museums, objects, augmented reality, and people: David Byrne, David Bowie, St. Vincent, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Wendy Whelan, Laurie Anderson, Nico Muhly, Jonathan Demme, and the Martha Graham Dance Co. SIOBHAN BURKE writes on dance for the New York Times and other publications. She teaches at Barnard College.
Jess Barbagallo is an NYC-based writer/director/performer who has toured internationally and domestically with Big Dance Theater, the Builders Association, Theater of a Two-Headed Calf (and its Dyke Division) and Half Straddle. Jess has taught theater and writing as a guest artist and adjunct lecturer at Duke University, New York University, Brooklyn College, the Vermont Young Playwright’s Festival and The O’Neill Center.