MBB&CO is a contemporary American dance company under the artistic direction of Monica Bill Barnes. She is joined by a core of long-time collaborators: Associate Artistic Director and performer, Anna Bass; Lighting Designer, Jane Cox ; Set and Costume Designer, Kelly Hanson ; and Producer, Robert Saenz de Viteri.
Our mission is to celebrate individuality, humor and the innate theatricality of everyday life, and to uncover and delight in the underdog in all of us.
We create and perform full-length shows that tour the country’s biggest stages and tiniest rooms. We bring dance where it doesn’t belong - making site-specific shows in public places, mounting collaborations with radio hosts and bringing down the house at comedy shows. We are at our best fighting against all odds, both as a small not-for-profit company in America and as performers who are more likely to stumble than move with grace. We have learned to twirl batons, pack headdresses in checked luggage, fireproof paper confetti, roller skate, make movies, and balance chairs in our teeth. We are silent female clowns - imagine Buster Keaton in color and embodied in the female form.
1973: Monica is born.
1978: Monica enters Miss Penny’s School of Dance.
1982: While on vacation in New York City, Monica sees A Chorus Line and decides that she wants to grow up to be a dancer.
1988: She choreographs her first dance for her high school’s fall dance show.
1991: She decides to study philosophy at the University of California, San Diego.
1995: She graduates from college and moves to New York City.
1996: Monica meets future company lighting designer, Jane Cox, in grad school at NYU.
1997: MBB&CO is formed. First professional gig is outdoors in the pouring rain.
1998: MBB&CO puts on its first self-produced show, Bella, my beautiful mothers, at University Settlement in front of an audience of 45, including Monica’s mom. Jane does the lights.
1999: Monica creates a handful of solos that she performs anywhere - living rooms, theaters, hallways and hillsides.
2000: Monica receives her first college commission at her alma mater UCSD and meets future set and costume designer, Kelly Hanson.
2001: MBB&CO has its first presented New York season at Danspace Project, When we were pretty, at St. Mark’s Church with a cast of 19 women performers ranging in age from 7 to 79.
2002: Monica sees future company member Anna Bass perform a solo in NYC.
2003: Anna makes her debut with MBB&CO and joins the company.
2004: Monica creates a site-specific work, Limelight, which then tours the country’s public fountains from New York City to San Diego.
2005: The company’s smallest show ever and one of its’ personal favorites, Hollywood Endings, premieres at Dixon Place.
2006: Thank you and Good Night features confetti, fans and balloons - all company staples.
2007: Monica creates her first duet for she and Anna, Suddenly Summer Somewhere.
2008: MBB&CO receives its first NEA grant.
2009: MBB&CO begins rehearsals for mostly fanfare which leads to a series of short films and a dream-come-true of wearing headdresses.
2010: The company performs a signature work, Another Parade, at The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, The American Dance Festival and Bates Festival all in the same summer.
2011: Everything is getting better all the time premieres at The Joyce Theater.
2012: Monica creates a solo for David Rakoff for This American Life: Live!
2013: Monica collaborates with radio host Ira Glass to create, choreograph and direct Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host. MBB&CO makes its debut at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
2014: MBB&CO presented Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host in New York City at Town Hall on September 10, 11 and 12! The show continues to tour the country!