Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence Annie-B Parson and company present a staged reading of a new work, The Mood Room.


annie-b sitting on desk

Photo by Ike Edeani

ANNIE-B PARSON co-founded Big Dance Theater (BDT) in 1991, and with BDT she has created numerous large-scale works for such venues as BAM, The Old Vic/London, Sadler’s Wells/London, The Walker, The National Theater/Paris, and The Kitchen. Parson has also made choreography for rock shows, marching bands, movies, museums, objects, television, augmented-reality, opera, ballet, theater, symphony orchestras, string quartets, and a chorus of 1,000 amateur singers. Her awards include the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2014), an Olivier Award nomination in choreography (2015), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award (2014), U.S.A. Artists Grant in Theater (2012), Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography (2007), two New York Dance Performance (Bessie) Awards (2010, 2002), and three New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowships (2013, 2006 and 2000). Big Dance Theater received an OBIE Award (2000) and the first Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award (2007). Artists she has worked with include David Byrne, David Bowie, St. Vincent, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Wendy Whelan, Anne Carson, Laurie Anderson, Nico Muhly, The Martha Graham Dance Co., and Jonathan Demme. Her work with David Byrne began in 2007 with his tours with Brian Eno, and then St. Vincent. Their most recent work, American Utopia, was on Broadway during fall 2019. Parson’s recent book, Drawing the Surface of Dance: A Biography in Charts, is published by Wesleyan Press.


The  Mood Room, a new evening-length piece directed by Annie-B Parson, is inspired by the work of Guy de Cointet, a French-born visual artist and playwright who first settled in NYC in 1965 and then relocated his practice to Los Angeles. “The Mood Room” will work specifically from the text of Cointet’s The Five Sisters (1982) which very lightly references Chekhov’s Three Sisters with both a hilarious disrespect – and with a recognition of the internal intention of the regret, despair and relational complexity in the Chekhov text.

The  Mood Room vaguely locates in Los Angeles 1970/80’s society. Rather than the unexamined self, here we watch the hyper-examined self and its deforming results. Five women dressed in California shades of beiges, pale greens, and pinks on a stage of that same coloration, talk for one hour about their art, their careers, their trip to Africa, their dermatologist-guru. The stakes are low, they come and go, they stand in strange shapes and utter unfinished remarks, they waft out of focus without intentionality. They have divested from an active body politic. The Mood Room is the polis. Their citizenry is them. 

With The Mood Room, Big Dance Theater will create a brutally honest critique of our own demographic. Here we look at the early seeds of the wellness movement as a direct mirror of the changing relationship to the self that the wealth of the late 20th century brought to us and subsequently has created monstrous societal divisions.

Map + Directions

The Hearst Dance Theater is located on the Forum level of the Wallace Dance Building at the Lewis Arts complex, located at 122 Alexander Street in Princeton, NJ.  View map of Lewis Arts complex


Alexander Street, between Lawrence Drive in Princeton and Canal Pointe Boulevard in West Windsor, will be closed through early May 2020 due to road construction.

Construction makes traveling to campus more time consuming. Traffic congestion from all routes to campus during peak times (weekdays, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) will be higher than normal. Drivers traveling to campus along Route 1 will see the greatest delays.

Visit for the most current information on detour routes, parking, and tips for planning your visit to campus.

View directions and campus maps, information on parking and public transit, and other venue information on our Venues & Directions page »

Learn about access information on our Accessibility page »

+ Google Map

Presented By

  • Program in Dance