Past Performance
Baryshnikov Arts Center + Dance Films Association Present

Another Telepathic Thing

June 8, 2015

Another Telepathic Thing is a film by Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme, of Big Dance Theater's "elegant and haunting" production (The Village Voice) of the same name, directed by Paul Lazar and co-directed and choreographed by Annie-B Parson.

Inspired by Mark Twain's morality tale “The Mysterious Stranger,” Another Telepathic Thing is a prismatic and complex dance-theater parable. At once cynical and spiritual, the work centers on a charismatic stranger whose visit shatters the peace of a mythic hamlet. The medieval setting is echoed by a contemporary Hollywood reality, with a script that braids Twain’s sublime writing with “found” text from years of auditions. It culminates in a subtle and startling exploration of the fragility of our human condition. 

Big Dance Theater’s performance of Another Telepathic Thing was filmed by Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Rachel Getting Married) in February 2000 at Dance Theater Workshop in NYC. The film was completed in 2015 with funding from Dance Film Association's Production Initiative. It features performers Tymberly Canale, Stacy Dawson, Molly Hickok, Cynthia Hopkins, Paul Lazar, and David Neumann, with text supervision by Scott Renderer, music by Cynthia Hopkins, set by Joanne Howard, lights by Jay Ryan, and sound by Jane Shaw.

The screening at BAC is preceded by a reception at 6:30PM, and followed by a discussion with Jonathan Demme and Annie-B Parson.

Another Telepathic Thing was completed in 2015 with funding provided by Dance Films Association's Production Initiative, creating opportunities for choreographers to collaborate on high quality film projects, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Fund.

Big Dance Theater
Artist Bio

Big Dance Theater

Founded in 1991, Big Dance Theater is known for its inspired use of dance, music, text and visual design. The company often works with wildly incongruent source material, weaving and braiding disparate strands into multi-dimensional performance. Led for over 20 years by Co-Artistic Directors Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, Big Dance Theater has worked to create over 20 dance/theater works, generating each piece over months of collaboration with its associate artists, a long-standing, ever-evolving group of actors, dancers, composers and designers. 

Big Dance Theater received New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards in 2002 and 2010; the company was awarded an OBIE in 2000 and company members have received 5 other “Bessie” Awards and an OBIE award for their work with Big Dance. Big Dance Theater has been presented around the world including France, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Brazil and Germany, and at US venues including Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, City Center Fall for Dance, The Performing Garage, New York Live Arts, The Chocolate Factory, Classic Stage Company, Japan Society, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Walker Art Center, Yerba Buena, On the Boards, UCLA Live, and The Spoleto Festival.

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Slide photo: Paula Court / Bio photo: Brad Harris