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Parsing Parson and Lazar

Big Dance Theater co-founder Annie-B Parson has said their work “steeps together like a big soup, a magical indescribable morphing.” An impressive number of ingredients have gone into their latest production, Supernatural Wife, and we’ll see if we can pick out some of them during their performances here this Thursday through Saturday. Working from the […]

Big Dance Theater co-founder Annie-B Parson has said their work “steeps together like a big soup, a magical indescribable morphing.”

An impressive number of ingredients have gone into their latest production, Supernatural Wife, and we’ll see if we can pick out some of them during their performances here this Thursday through Saturday. Working from the translation of Euripedes’ Alkestis done by Anne Carson (who will be here Thursday night before the opening of Supernatural Wife), co-directors Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar also took inspiration from many other elements:

  • Yiddish theater actor Solomon Mikhoels’ performance as King Lear, which interested Big Dance because of its larger-than-life qualities. Skipping forward to 3:06 gives a glimpse of this.

  • The “forceful speech patterns of actress Rosalind Russell. In preparing for the title role, performer Tymberly Canale memorized some of Russell’s rapid-fire dialogue from the film His Girl Friday.” Russell’s performance in that film is now in the public domain but below is a video made by the mysterious Italian novelist collective  Wu Ming Foundation that splices together the only minutes of the movie without dialogue: 8 minutes.