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A Conversation with Choreographers Annie-B Parson, Tendayi Kuumba, and Donna Uchizono
A Conversation with Choreographers Annie-B Parson, Tendayi Kuumba, and Donna Uchizono

Tue, Apr 25


Virtual Event

A Conversation with Choreographers Annie-B Parson, Tendayi Kuumba, and Donna Uchizono

NCCAkron Executive/Artistic Director Christy Bolingbroke will moderate an online conversation between New York-based choreographic collaborators Annie-B Parson, Tendayi Kuumba, and Donna Uchizono.

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Time & Location

Apr 25, 2023, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Virtual Event

About the Event

UPDATE: Join us online as NCCAkron Executive/Artistic Director Christy Bolingbroke moderates a conversation between New York-based choreographic collaborators Annie-B Parson, Tendayi Kuumba, and Donna Uchizono. 

NCCAkron is closely following the situation after the Grand Jury's announcement in the officer-involved shooting death of Jayland Walker. Out of an abundance of care and compassion for the Akron community and for the safety of our guests and staff, NCCAkron has decided not to host this event live. Instead, the conversation will be held digitally.

RSVP to this event to receive the link in your inbox, and join us from anywhere.


Annie-B Parson co-founded OBIE and Bessie Award winning Big Dance Theater in 1991. Her work with Big Dance has been commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Sadler’s Wells/London, The Old Vic/ London, The National Theater of Paris/Chaillot, the Kitchen, The Museum of Contemporary Art/Chicago, The Walker Art Museum, and many other theaters.

Parson has created choreography for opera, pop stars, television, movies, theater, ballet, symphonies, advertising, objects, museums, augmented reality, and 1,000 amateur singers. Parson staged and choreographed David Byrne’s Broadway show and world tour of American Utopia. Other work includes David Byrne’s musical Here Lies Love at the Public Theater and The National Theater in London; David Byrne’s 2012 world tour with St. Vincent and a marching band; and Byrne's and Brian Eno’s 2008 world tour, as well as Byrne’s appearances on the Stephen Colbert show, Jimmy Fallon, and SNL. She choreographed the world premiere of David Bowie/Ivo Van Hove’s Lazarus. Parson created the staging/choreography for St. Vincent’s 2017 and 2014 world tours, her collaboration with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Parson currently has 2 large-scale works in repertory at The Martha Graham Dance Company, and she created a solo for Wendy Whelan commissioned by the Royal Ballet. Parson choreographed one thousand singers for a work by David Lang at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. She has also made dances for Lorde, Salt n’ Pepa, Rodrigo and Gabriella, Jonsi, and Laurie Anderson, among many other music artists.

Her work for theater, opera, and film includes plays by Lucas Hnath, Sarah Ruhl, Suzan-Lori Parks, Nico Muhly, Spike Lee, and Jonathan Demme. 

She has received the Chita Rivera Critic's Choice Award (2022), Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2014), an Olivier Award nomination in choreography (2015), Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2014), USA Artists Award (2012), Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography (2007), two BESSIE awards (2010, 2002), a Franky Award (2016) and three Lucille Lortel nominations (2014, 2012, 2011). Parson was honored by PS122 and Danspace in May 2021. She has published two books on choreography. The most recent, Drawing the Surface of Dance, is published by Wesleyan Press.

Tendayi Kuumba was the Chita Rivera Outstanding Female Dancer on Broadway 2022 as Lady in Brown in the Tony Nominated Broadway Revival of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. International dancer, choreographer, singer, & songwriter, & Spelman College grad. Recently, Tendayi performed as a background vocalist/dancer and original cast member of Special Tony Award Winning David Byrne's America Utopia on Broadway as well as its World Tour and HBO Film adaptation directed by Spike Lee. 

Former touring company member of Urban Bush Women, Tendayi is also a longtime collaborator with partner Greg Purnell under the alias UFLYMOTHERSHIP with sonic/choreographic projects Heroiné, Incog-negro, U.F.O: Unidentified Fly Objects, U.F.O: Stardust Melanin,  and U.F.O "The Mixtape". Other solo/collaborative choreographic works have been featured at Gibney Dance, in partnership with Stephen Petronio Residency Center, Live Ideas: Drexciya Redux - An Afrofuturist Cabaret at NYLA, Movement Researches’ Spring Festival, Czech Republic of NY, “Prague Effects” Residency, Dancespace "Collective Terrains" platform, Spelman Colleges' "Toni Cade Bambara Scholar- Activism Conference, Harlem Stage E-Moves 2019, Hi-ARTS: Critical Breaks Residency, BRICLab, Dance Mission Theaters' D.I.R.T Festival 2021 & Park Armorys' 100 Women/ 100 Years and Lincoln Center's Restart Stages.

She's worked with choreographers T. Lang, Marjani Forte'-Saunders (7NMS), ASÉ Dance Theater Collective, Nathan Trice/ Rituals Performance Project StrangeLove, Jim Findlay's Electric Lucifer workshop & Philadelphia Operas’ We Shall Not be Moved directed by Bill T. Jones. She continues to build her pedagogy as a teaching artist occasionally at NYU Tisch and as a B.O.L.D Facilitator for Urban Bush Women. Currently commissioned by the Petronio Residency Center to create upcoming UFLYMOTHERSHIP work for Dec 2022, she gives thanks and blessings for life, love, breath, and the pursuit of happiness through creativity. 

Donna Uchizono is a dance artist based in New York City and Artistic Director of Donna Uchizono Company, which has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. A United States Artist Awardee, Guggenheim Fellow, and Bessie recipient, Uchizono has been distinguished by numerous national awards and grants.

She has been commissioned to create work for notables Mikhail Baryshnikov, Paula Vogel, David Hammons, and Oliver Sacks. Uchizono is active in the community and is committed to mentorship/advocacy for young dance makers. She served as a mentor for Sugar Salon, DoublePlus at Gibney Dance Center, and currently through Donna Uchizono Company’s own choreographic mentorship program, “Shared Choreographic Practice.”

She founded the Artist Advisory Board at Danspace Project, initiated a panel series on issues in the Dance Field at Gibney, and has served as a grants panelist for various funding institutions. 

Since 2022, Uchizono has been humbled by the distinction of being the first and only American-born choreographer of Asian ancestry in the history of Modern Dance, who has received cumulative national award recognition and toured an eponymous dance company across the U.S. and internationally. She has been continuously grappling with issues of invisibility/visibility, and the subsequent sense of isolation from the lack of American-born of Asian descent dance mentor(s) who share the experience of growing up with the invisibilized scars of racism.

Pictured L to R: Annie-B Parson (photo Shira Friedman), Tendayi Kuumba (photo AngieLMV Photography), and Donna Uchizono (photo Peggy Jarrell Kaplan)

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