Bill T. Jones in Conversation With Susan Rethorst
Lois Welk, director of Dance/USA Philadelphia, recently sat down with Bill T. Jones and Susan Rethorst as they engaged in conversation about their practices and the evolution of dance. To listen to the stimulating discussion, click here. A special thanks to The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
SUNY Purchase students prepare to perform Spent Days Out Yonder
This spring, students at SUNY-Purchase learned Bill T. Jones’ Spent Days Out Yonder, re-staged by former company member Ayo Janeen Jackson. Students will perform the work over two weeks in April and May: at SUNY Purchase on April 26-28 and at New York Live Arts on May 22-25. This week’s blog shares the students’ responses to learning Spent Days.
1. If you were to describe this piece to someone who knew nothing about dance, what would you tell him or her?
“To someone who knew nothing about dance, Spent Days Out Yonder comes off as a very simple uncomplicated piece of choreography. As a dancer, I would tell them the exact opposite. The movements are small, the dancers look effortless, and the music is incredibly easy on the ears, but the intricacy of the structure and the endless details in the choreography add several obstacles.” –Hannah Button
“Spent Days Out Yonder is an intimate reflection where movement flows effortlessly alongside Mozart’s music. It is a piece of dream-like quality that gets its tenderness from the exchange of dancers in and out of a set phrase and an improvisational-based train surrounding it. The movement vocabulary and the specificity established through a clear connection of dance and music draw a line for the audience to journey on from beginning to end. Bill T. Jones has created a dance piece which warms the soul and recalls fond memories with its ease and playfulness.” –Michelle Giordanelli
2. What is unique about this rehearsal process?
“What makes this rehearsal process unique is that the piece is not only based on an improvisation by Mr. Jones, but it exists within an improvisational shell. So, each run is different and a product of our decisions in the moment. It requires attentiveness to our surroundings and phrasing which brings forth a mental challenge most set pieces don’t deal with constantly. We are working with the balance between impulses and decisions passed through a rational strainer, which allows for a continual reinvention of our improvised material and of how we fill in the piece.” –Michelle Giordanelli
3. Why do you think this piece is worth remembering and keeping alive? What do we have to learn from it today?
“As a dancer, it’s important to remember this piece because of the complexity in performing it. There’s something that sets this piece apart from others being created nowadays, and there’s certainly a classic nature about it that can be appreciated forever. For audiences, I think it’s important to keep Spent Days alive because it’s refreshing for the palate. So much of dance is about pounding of steps that are meant to “wow” an audience, and people forget that dance is beautiful just because it allows us to see what it’s like to move the human body. This piece illustrates that perfectly.” –Amanda Krische
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s 30th Anniversary Season at the Joyce: Guest Artist Bios
In honor of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s 30th Anniversary, various guest artists were invited to share the stage with current Company members for their Joyce season, running March 26 – April 7*. The guest artists whose bios appear below join the Company in Continuous Replay and D-Man in the Waters. (*Guest artist appearances vary based on show date.)
AKIKO AIZAWA has been a member of SITI Company since 1997, after seven years as a member of the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT). With SITI, she has performed in: Trojan Women, Cafe Variations American Document, Antigone, Under Construction, Who Do You Think You Are, Radio Macbeth, bobrauschenbergamerica, Freshwater, Hotel Cassiopeia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Intimations for Saxophone, La Dispute, War of the Worlds, Culture of Desire, Nicholas and Alexandra and systems/layers. Roles with SCOT include: Trojan Women, Three Sisters and Dionysus. Theaters/festivals include BAM/Next Wave Festival, Under the Radar at the Public Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Court Theatre, Joyce Theater, Krannert Center, Los Angeles Opera, New York Theatre Workshop, New York Live Arts, Walker Art Center and Wexner Center for the Arts. International festivals/venues include: Edinburgh, Dublin, Bonn, Bobigny, Helsinki, Melbourne, Bogota, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Toga and Moscow. Aizawa is originally from Akita, Japan.
ARTHUR AVILES received a BA from Bard College. He was a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from 1987 to 1995 and received a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for a series of performances in the Company in 1989. In 1996 He created Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre. He is a NYFA Fellow and has received the Mayor’s Award. In 1998, he co-founded The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance. In 2002 he founded The Bronx Dance Coalition, which produces the Bronx Dance Magazine. As Aviles celebrates his 50th birthday this coming May, he is extremely grateful for the opportunity to dance in Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s 30th season.
GERMAUL BARNES is a Bessie Award winner for his dancing in the work of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He is currently Director and Founder of Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Expressions Dance, a New York based dance company that presents multi-media dance performances and educational residencies around the world. Barnes is also Co-Director of Burnt Sugar/Danz with Gabri Christa and Greg Tate. He has received many grants and awards for his extensive foreign experience as dancer, teacher, choreographer and anthropologist. He has created dances for The Ailey School, Southern Dance Work, Birmingham Southern College, Skidmore College, Jasmyn Fyffe Dance-Toronto, Ghana National Dance Theater, ChoreoQuest Project, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, among others.
WILL BOND is a founding member of SITI Company. He has performed and toured nationally and internationally in SITI’s Orestes (by company member Charles L. Mee), The Medium, Small Lives/Big Dreams, Culture of Desire, Bob (Drama Desk Nomination best solo performance of the year), War of the Worlds, War of the Worlds – The Radio Play, Cabin Pressure, bobrauschenbergamerica, La Dispute, Death and the Ploughman, Lilith and Seven Deadly Sins (New York City Opera), Radio Macbeth, Who Do You Think You Are and Antigone. He has toured with Tadashi Suzuki and Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) in Dionysus and with Robert Wilson’s Persephone performed at the Theater Olympics Delphi, Greece. Regional works include: Macbeth, The Lover, Creditors, Mystery of Irma Vep, Greater Tuna, Greetings, Holiday, Night Must Fall, Suddenly Last Summer, The Tempest, Hamlet. Original works include History of the World from the very Beginning with Christian Frederickson & SITI’s Brian Scott, Crash a work also with Brian Scott in collaboration with Deborah Hay, and I’ll Crane For You, a solo performance dance theater work commissioned by Deborah Hay. Bond is currently Artist-In-Residence in the theater department of Skidmore College.
DWAYNE BROWN is from New York City. He was a Young Artist Scholar in 2005 for the American Dance Festival and a fellowship student at The Alvin Ailey School in 2006. Brown graduated from Vassar in 2007 with a Psychology degree. As a freelance artist he has worked professionally with Sean Curran, Maija Garcia, Chamber Dance Project, Linda Diamond & Co., Anouk van Dijk, The Next Stage Project, Sounding Line Productions, Naganuma Dance, Connecticut Ballet, TrainorDance, Eric Taylor Dance, Nathan Trice, Daniel Gwirtzman, Whitney Hunter, and Roger Jeffery. From January 2010 through August 2011 Brown extensively toured nationally and internationally with Lula Washington Dance Theater. Currently, Brown is an apprentice for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, a dancer at The Metropolitan Opera (2nd season) and a dancer for ReggieWilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group.
CATHERINE CABEEN MFA, is the Artistic Director of Catherine Cabeen – Hyphen. Cabeen has received choreographic commissions from On the Boards, Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater, the Visa2Dance Festival in Dar Es Salaam, Alsarab Dance Troupe and the Lebanese American University in Byblos Lebanon, Moving People Dance Theater in Santa Fe, and Pig Iron Theater Company in Philadelphia, among others. The New York Times has called Cabeen’s Hyphen, “highly kinetic, complex… visually exquisite,” and “beautifully performed.” Cabeen currently performs in her own work, and with Richard Move. She is a former member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (1997-2005) and was Jones’ Assistant Choreographer on the original production of Spring Awakening at the Atlantic Theater. She is also a former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company and Pearl Lang Dance Theater, among others. Cabeen has taught for the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company’s Education Outreach Department since 2006. In 2012 Cabeen began a three-year appointment at Middlebury College in Vermont.
CHISTIAN CANCIANI was twice honored with the Choreographic Award by the French Ministry of Culture. In New York, Canciani participated in the classes of Limon, Nikolaïs, Cunningham, Trisha Brown and Susan Klein, as well as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. He has danced the repertoires, styles and techniques of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Elisa Monte, Kevin Wynn, Blondell Cummings, Eleo Pomare, Donald Byrd and Ballet Hispanico. He danced in the opera Carmina Burana in Puerto Rico, and his Musical Theater credits include Fame (the musical) on Broadway. The breadth and chronology of his experiences have fired his imagination and clarified his direction in choreography, teaching and yoga. He has collaborated with composers such as Lester Bowie, Eric Delbouys, Olu Dara, Johannes Walter and Don Pullen. Canciani holds a Master’s degree in Modern Dance from the Lyon Superior Conservatory. He is currently Vice-Rector of the Palucca University in Dresden, Germany.
PETER CHAMBERLIN danced with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from 2007-2011. He is currently finishing his medical school prerequisites at Columbia University.
SEAN CURRAN danced for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company from 1983 to 1993 and was given a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for his performance in Secret Pastures. He was an original NYC cast member of STOMP performing in the show for four years. Sean Curran Company recently celebrated its 15th anniversary with a season at The Joyce Theater. Sean has another life as an Opera Director and Choreographer and has created work for The Met, NYC Opera, Gotham Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Montreal, Opera Theater of St Louis and Santa Fe opera. Curran is currently the Associate Chair of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Dance Department.
LAWRENCE GOLDHUBER is a Bessie Award winning performer and choreographer, who first came to attention as a long time principal member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. In addition to presenting his own work internationally both as a soloist and as the duet team of Goldhuber & Latsky, he has worked with composer Merdith Monk, DV8 Physical Theater, Jerome Bel, Keely Garfield and, most recently, Belgian artist Jan Fabre.
LEON INGULSRUD helped found SITI Company and has appeared in Orestes, Seven Deadly Sins (New York City Opera), Nicholas & Alexandra (LA Opera), bobrauschenbergamerica, Hotel Cassiopeia, Who Do You Think You Are, Radio Macbeth, Under Construction, Antigone, American Document (with Martha Graham Dance Company), War of the Worlds; Radio Play, Trojan Women, Cafe Variations and Continuous Replay (with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company). Previous to SITI, Ingulsrud was a member of the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) for seven years, during which time Ingulsrud also served as a resident director at the ATM Arts Center in Mito, Japan. Ingulsrud served two years as the Associate Artistic Director of Swine Palace in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Ingulsrud has taught in workshops and universities around the world, translates Japanese theater texts into English and holds an MFA in directing from Columbia.
AYO JANEEN JACKSON received her BFA at North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a former member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Ballet Preljocaj and an original cast of Spider Man on Broadway. Jackson has performed her choreography in New York venues such as at PS 122, Aaron Davis Hall and Dance Theater Workshop. She has been a guest teacher at Hollins University and University of California, Irvine. Jackson has received both a Chris Helleman Award and a Special Project Grant from the Princess Grace Foundation. She was a dancer for the French star, Mylene Farmer. Jackson has worked on several projects with Julie Taymor; the movie Across the Universe and Grendel an opera directed by Ms.Taymor, with choreography by Angelin Preljocaj and music by Eliot Goldenthal. Jackson also danced for the Greek singer Anna Vissi (choreography by Mia Michaels) and in the Latin Grammys with Thalia at Madison Square Garden. She has also danced in a silent film The Great Observer, with choreography by Hinton Battle. Jackson is the assistant choreographer for Superfly, the Musical, directed by Bill T. Jones. Currently she is working on the film Black Nativity, directed by Kasi Lemmons.
HEIDI LATSKY danced with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from 1987-1993. She currently has her own company, Heidi Latsky Dance, which has received international recognition for “The GIMP Project” her body of work with both disabled and non disabled dancers. She recently performed at TEDXWomen in DC and has upcoming shows at Baruch Performing Arts Center in June.
ANNA SCHON is a native of the Bronx, who received her BA from Barnard College in European History and Dance. She is extremely fortunate to be an apprentice with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She also performs with The Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group, The Metropolitan Opera and zoe|juniper. She has had the pleasure of working with Aszure Barton and Artists, Jennifer Muller/The Works (apprentice), Mark Dendy, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Alison Jones Dance, Malcolm Low, Gabri Christa and Ori Flomin. She would like to thank God, her family, friends and Kehila (community) back home for their unwavering support.
ROSALYNDE LeBLANC holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from Hollins University. She began her professional career with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (1993-1999), then continued on with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project (1999-2002). For the next four years she danced with the Liz Gerring Dance Comany while working as a freelance dancer with various choreographers. Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, John Jasperse, Yvonne Rainer, David Gordon, Richard Move, Larry Keigwin, Noemi LaFrance and Charles Moulton are among the choreographers whose work Ms. LeBlanc has performed. In addition, she danced in several productions with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet and was invited to perform at the 2006 Salzburg Opera Festival, Austria, in Joachim Schloemer’s Irrfahrten. She has also worked with film directors, Burt Barr, John Turturro, Gretchen Bender and Matthew Rolston, and can be seen in the short film, Roz; the Janet Jackson music video, Every Time; the PBS Specials, Still/Here, Free to Dance, Dancing in the Light, A Good Man; and in the feature film, Romance and Cigarettes. Ms. LeBlanc has written articles about her dance career for Dance Magazine and Europe’s Ballettanz. She taught dance at Long Island University for seven years while returning to work with Bill T. Jones in the re-staging of his pieces at colleges around the country. She is now on faculty at Loyola Marymount University – Los Angeles.
COLLEEN THOMAS is a New York based choreographer and performing artist. She began her professional career with the Miami Ballet and went on to work with renowned contemporary choreographers such as Nina Wiener Dance Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Donald Byrd/The Group and Bebe Miller Company, among others. She is a co-director for Bill Young/Colleen Thomas and Co. as well as the director for ColleenThomasDance. Thomas has presented her work all over the world from Hong Kong to Brazil and Russia to New York. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College of Columbia University.
STEPHEN DUFF WEBBER has performed with SITI all over the world since 1994 in Café Variations, American Document, Antigone, Radio Macbeth (Macbeth), Hotel Cassiopeia, Under Construction, Freshwater, Death and the Ploughman, War of the Worlds (Orson Welles), bobrauschenbergamerica, systems/layers (with Rachel’s), La Dispute, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cabin Pressure, Going Going Gone, Culture of Desire, The Medium, Private Lives, Hay Fever, The Radio Play (Orson Welles) and Short Stories. In New York, he has appeared in Death and the Ploughman (CSC), War of the Worlds (BAM), Culture of Desire (NYTW), Trojan Women 2.0 (En Garde Arts), Freshwater (Women’s Project), Radio Macbeth (Public), Hotel Cassiopeia (BAM), American Document (Joyce), Antigone (NYLA) and Radio Play (Joe’s Pub). In the United States, Webber has performed with American Repertory Theater, Actors Theater of Louisville (Betrayal, Glengarry Glen Ross), Milwaukee Repertory Theater, San Jose Repertory Theater, Magic Theater, Portland Stage Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Court Theatre and Stage West.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at the Joyce!
The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company kicks of its run of Play and Play: an evening of movement and music at the Joyce Theater tonight! Read the context notes written by Deborah Jowitt here.
New York Live Arts 2012 Fall Gala at Robert
New York Live Arts hosted its Fall Benefit Gala on Tuesday, November 13th at Robert, at the Museum of Arts and Design. The Gala celebrated the courage of our artists, audiences and supporters. Honorees were Stephen & Ruth Hendel and James C. Hormel, three important Live Arts supporters who inspire us and exemplify courage in the face of adversity. The Honorary Chair of the 2012 New York Live Arts Gala is acclaimed British-Indian novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie. Chairs of the Gala are Bill T. Jones & Bjorn Amelan, and Richard Levy & Lorraine Gallard
The evening featured a special performance by Bill T. Jones, Executive Artistic Director of New York Live Arts and Artistic Director of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, with Steven Reker and People Get Ready. Dinner by designed by David Waltuck, Executive Chef of Ark Restaurants, and presented beautifully with a special menu designed by artist Ai Weiwei. Funds raised through the Gala support the full range of Live Arts’ activities, advancing our mission to serve as an internationally recognized destination for innovative movement-based artistry.
Guest in attendance included artists Cindy Sherman and Kyle Abraham, Live Arts board and advisory council members Terence Dougherty, Deborah Sale, Eric Anderson, Helen Haje, Kweli Washington, Jane Bovingdon Semel and Derek Brown, Live Arts Artistic Director Carla Peterson and CEO Jean Davidson, as well as longtime Live Arts and dance company supporters Eleanor Friedman, Bill Katz and Karen Waltuck, among many others. The festive evening went well into the night.
Photos from our 2012-2013 Season Opening Reception
The theater was packed, delicious food was served, and everyone was in attendance to see the new studios, Donald Baechler‘s installation CROWD (for Bill T. Jones), and the opening night performance of Voices of Strength: Contemporary Dance & Theater by Women from Africa.
“Photos from the opening night our 2012-2013 Season, the opening of our newly remodeled studio, and the opening reception for Donald Baechler’s installation, CROWD (for Bill T. Jones). All photos by Cherylynn Tsushima.”
From Open Night 2012, posted by on 9/20/2012 (23 items)
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Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at Jacob’s Pillow, Storified.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company went to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in July 2012 to perform Story/Time. I (Adam Smith, the company’s Interactive Marketing Manager) grabbed some cameras and tagged along for the trip. Here is their social media documentary.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Prepare for Jacob’s Pillow and Wolf Trap
The dance company was rehearsing for their upcoming performances at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Massachusetts) and Wolf Trap (Virginia) in the theater recently to get some of their newest performers up to speed on the work. Of particular interest, as always, are the nicknames they give each specific movement.
“A Rite” Rehearsal Audio with SITI Company & Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company & SITI Company rehearse a vocal arrangement of the Augurs of Spring section of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
The arrangement was created by Tim Hambourger. Special thanks to Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) for coaching + conducting and Yayoi Ikawa for accompanying on piano.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Rehearsing Ravel
We asked Bill and the Company if we could sit in their rehearsal for Ravel a few weeks ago, and here’s what we captured. The mood in the room was focused with a lot to learn. There were light moments, like when the dancers rehearsed a particular movement and yelled out its nickname, “Chinese toy! Chinese toy!” (not captured on video) as well as physically demanding scenarios such as Jen learning the turning leap.