A striking, deeply moving work, on the theme of the agony and the survival. A reflection on the life and death, grave but spectacular as usual with this unique group, consisted of admirable dancers and supported, in the transmission of the emotion, by the voice of the great singer of Louisiana, Odetta.
Source : Maison de la Danse Programme
Jones, Bill T.
Bill T. Jones is an American dancer and choreographer, who has no taboos whatsoever. This performer, whose scenic presence thrills the audience, expresses violence, gentleness and emotion. His status as a black, homosexual dancer has influenced the social theme of these works, just like modern dance and the importance of improvisation have influenced the creative approach.
Brought up in a very modest African-American family, he studied theatre and dance at the University of Binghamton. A turning point in his life occurred there when he met the performer Arnie Zane who would become his companion and main partner. Together they founded the American Dance Asylum in 1973, before going on to become the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982. Arnie Zane died from AIDS in 1988, Bill T. Jones, who is HIV-positive has continued the company ever since.
Bill T. Jones has created works for A. Ailey, the Boston Ballet, the Berlin Opera Ballet and the Lyon Opera Ballet for which he has been honoured with numerous awards. He has also worked on opera and theatre productions. Interested by the diversity of morphologies, he has made this one of his specialities. Black, athletic, sensual and technically highly-skilled, Bill T. Jones played on the differences between himself and Zane, who was small, white and who invented funny gestures and spiced the virtuosity of their duos with a certain kind of nonsense. Bill T. Jones addresses controversial subjects in his choreographical work, such as the status of African-Americans and homosexuality, and he even goes so far as to take a stand on different social issues. His dance, which is already narrative and has broken away from minimalism, is as such militant.
Sources : Panorama de la danse contemporaine, Rosita Boisseau (Ed. Textuel, Paris, 2006) ; New-York Live Arts 's website
More information : newyorklivearts.org
Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company
Artistic Direction: Bill T. Jones
The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company was born in 1982 out of an 11-year collaboration between Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane (1948–1988). During this time, they redefined the duet form and foreshadowed issues of identity, form and social commentary that would change the face of American dance. The Company has performed worldwide in over 200 cities in 40 countries on every major continent and is recognized as one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the dance-theater world.
The repertory of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company is widely varied in its subject matter, visual imagery and stylistic approach to movement, voice and stagecraft and includes musically-driven works as well as works using a variety of texts. The Company has been acknowledged for its intensely collaborative method of creation that has included artists as diverse as Keith Haring, Cassandra Wilson, The Orion String Quartet etc.
Source: New-York Live Arts
More information : newyorklivearts.org
Choreography : Bill T. Jones
Interpretation : Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company
Additionnal music : Ken Frazelle, Vernon Reid
Lights : Robert Wierzel
Settings : Gretchen Bender
Production / Coproduction of the video work : 1994 production Maison de la Danse
The Dance Biennale
Stage theater and studio are not the only places of work or performance of a choreographic piece. Sometimes dancers and choreographers dance outside.
The committed artist
In all the arts and here especially in dance, the artist sometimes creates to defend a cause, to denounce a fact, to disturb, to shock. Here is a panorama of some "committed" choreographic creations.