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“It’s hard to do justice to the freewheeling brilliance of Big Dance Theater.”
—The New York Times
Nov 30—Dec 5, 2021
The Mood Room
Dance | Theater
World Premiere

BAM in association with The Kitchen

The Mood Room
Big Dance Theater
Created by Annie-B Parson

“virtuosic simplicity that keeps everyone ... in a joyous nonstop movement from start to finish”
—New York Magazine
Against the urgent, experimental laptop music of Holly Herndon, Annie-B Parson’s Big Dance Theater explores a story of five sisters in 1980, gathered in their childhood Los Angeles home. A mix of theater, dance, and spoken opera, the mythic, piercing Mood Room is set during early Reaganism, when Americans were urged to spend and shop rather than actively participate in civic society. In the physical and metaphorical mood room, the all-female cast dives into a deep self-indulgent bubble, retreating from their responsibilities as participants in the larger world. Referencing multiple texts, including Chekhov’s Three Sisters and soap operas, The Mood Room is a mirror for being and nothingness, angst and regret, class and navel-gazing.
Brooklyn-based choreographer Annie-B Parson is artistic director of the Obie/Bessie award-winning Big Dance Theater (BDT), co-founded with Molly Hickok and Paul Lazar in 1991. Her most recent work with David Byrne, Broadway’s Tony-winning American Utopia—maybe “the best live show of all time”, per NME—premiered in 2019, toured the world, and was a film directed by Spike Lee. BDT returns to BAM after creating more than 20 large-scale works for The Japan Society, The Old Vic/London, The National Theater in Paris, and beyond. Along with Byrne, Parson has worked with artists including David Bowie, St. Vincent, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Anne Carson, Ivo van Hove, Laurie Anderson, Suzann Lori Parks, Rodrigo and Gabriella, and Salt-N-Pepa. The author of two books on choreography and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Olivier nomination, and the inaugural Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, she has two large-scale works in the repertory of the Martha Graham Dance Company.

Based on Five Sisters by Guy de Cointet with additional text from Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov

Music by Holly Herndon
Sound design and recomposition by Mark degli Antoni
Set design by Lauren Machen
Lighting design by Joe Levasseur
Costume co-design by Baille Younkman and Samantha Mcelrath
Video design by Keith Skretch

The Mood Room is produced by Big Dance Theater and co-commissioned by The Kitchen, BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Carolina Performing Arts/UNC-Chapel Hill, the Walker Art Center, the Wexner Arts Center, and with funds from the Starry Night Fund.

Presentation support for The Kitchen by NYSCA Restart NY: Rapid Live Performance Grant

Thu Oct 14
BAM Members & Patrons
Wed Oct 20
General Public
1hr, no intermission


All performances will adhere to protocols developed in accordance with New York State regulations and in consultation with medical professionals for the safety of our artists, audiences, and staff. 

November 2021
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Tuesday November 30, 2021

Leadership support for BAM Access Programs provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation

Jerome L. Greene Foundation


Leadership support for dance at BAM provided by:



Leadership support for dance at BAM provided by The SHS Foundation



Leadership support for theater at BAM provided by
The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.;
The SHS Foundation; and The Shubert Foundation, Inc.


Major support for The Mood Room provided by the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater


Major support for female creators in the Winter 2021 Season provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation


Annie-B Parson is the recipient of The Harkness
Dance Residency at the BAM Fisher in 2021

“deeply brilliant ... an amazing company.”
— The New York Times
“exacting, exultant and altogether astonishing choreography”
— The New York Times
“exquisitely constructed collaborations”
— The New York Times
“brilliantly entertaining”
— The New York Times
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