BILL'S BLOG

 

05/30/2012
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Celebrates 30th Anniversary

2012-2013 Season Highlights include:

World Premiere of A Meditation on The Rite of Spring (working title) in collaboration with Anne Bogart and SITI Company at Carolina Performing Arts

Two-week season at The Joyce Theater featuring D-Man in the Waters
and other repertory with the Orion String Quartet

Tour to 24 cities in the United States and Europe

30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR SCHEDULE

New York, NY, May 30, 2012 – Over the past 30 years, multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer Bill T. Jones and his celebrated company of dancers have left an indelible mark on the performing arts landscape and are today one of the most influential and recognizable forces in the dance-theater world. In the 2012-2013 season, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a tour to 24 cities in the United States and Europe; a highly anticipated World Premiere co-production with Anne Bogart and SITI Company; and a New York City season at The Joyce Theater with the Orion String Quartet featuring D-Man in the Waters, a classic work not seen in New York since 2002.

“This season, as the company celebrates 30 years of creative discourse, I am grateful to the artists and audiences who have participated in the vision that Arnie Zane and I created together in 1982,” said Bill T. Jones. “Since that time, the Company has in some ways become a microcosm of the world that I would like to live in: a diverse group of talented personalities working together.  It is fitting that during this milestone year we find ourselves settled in a new artistic home at New York Live Arts, with ambitious new work in development and on tour. We are wild about the future.”

In September, the Company will embark on a two-month European tour to Germany, Italy, France and The Netherlands. A U.S. tour will begin in November with stops in Memphis, TN; Winston-Salem, NC; St. Petersburg, FL; Chattanooga, TN; St. Louis, MO; Chapel Hill, NC; College Park, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Purchase, NY; Beaver Creek, CO; New York, NY; Tempe, AZ; and Tulsa, OK. Touring programs include Story/Time, which premiered in 2012 and is inspired by John Cage’s Indeterminacy; the Classical Music Program featuring new and reconstructed works set to classical music, including D-Man in the Waters; Body Against Body, a collection of early works that examine Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane’s roots in the avant-garde; and the World Premiere of A Meditation on The Rite of Spring (working title), a major new work under development in collaboration with Anne Bogart and SITI Company.

Commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of “The Rite of Spring at One Hundred” nine-month centennial festival, Bill T. Jones and Anne Bogart will join forces to create a new dance-theater work reflecting on the significance and themes of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. In A Meditation on The Rite of Spring (working title), the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company will explore the impact of Stravinsky’s revolutionary piece of music and imagine the consequence of hearing it played for the very first time. After the World Premiere performance at Carolina Performing Arts on January 25-26, the work will tour to the University of Maryland in College Park, MD (February 8-9) and SUNY Purchase in Purchase, NY (March 2). Later in March, the Company will have its New York City season (March 26-31 & April 2-7) at The Joyce Theater with two repertory programs featuring music-inspired works accompanied live by the Orion String Quartet, including two NY premieres and the return of the rarely seen D-Man in the Waters. The Company last appeared at The Joyce Theater in 2009 with Serenade/The Proposition.

A LOOK BACK: 30 YEARS OF AN ARTISTIC LIFE

30 years ago, after meeting at the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY), Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane (1948 – 1988) co-founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and emerged onto the international scene in 1983 with the world premiere of Intuitive Momentum at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s inaugural Next Wave Festival. Together, Jones and Zane redefined the duet form and foreshadowed issues of identity, form and social commentary that would change the face of American dance.

Jones, who recently turned 60, is one of the most important American artists working today. He is recognized as a striking performer, a prolific creator of post-modern contemporary dance and Broadway theater, and a provocative choreographer who fearlessly tackles political and social concerns in his work.

Over the past three decades, Jones has created more than 140 works for the Company, earning significant commissions, awards and recognition along the way. His major honors include a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award and the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors. In 2009 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and was named “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. He and the Company have received major commissions from Lincoln Center Festival, Peak Performances at Montclair State University (NJ), Ravinia Festival, Walker Art Center and many other leading institutions.  He has also received commissions to create works for companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, and others.

Some of Jones’s most courageous and controversial productions have addressed issues of race, religion, mortality and illness, freedom and slavery – often drawing ire and awe at the same time: Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land (1990, Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music); Still/Here (1994, Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, France); We Set Out Early… Visibility Was Poor (1996, Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, IA); You Walk? (2000, European Capital of Culture 2000, Bolgna, Italy); Blind Date (2005, Peak Performances at Montclair State University); Chapel/Chapter (2006, Harlem Stage Gatehouse); and Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray (2009, Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL).

Jones has long been revered for his highly collaborative, interdisciplinary process, having worked over the years with such notable artists as Keith Haring, Cassandra Wilson, Orion String Quartet, the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, Fred Hersch, Jenny Holzer, Robert Longo, Julius Hemphill, Toni Morrison, Max Roach, Jessye Norman, and Daniel Bernard Roumain, among others. His current collaboration with director Anne Bogart and SITI Company on A Meditation on The Rite of Spring (working title) for January 2013 is a continuation of this shared creative practice.

NEW HORIZONS

In addition to his intriguing collaborations and work for his company, Jones has won international renown for his work on Broadway. He earned two Tony Awards for Best Choreography – one in 2010 for the critically acclaimed FELA!, the musical he co-conceived, co-wrote, directed and choreographed, receiving 11 Tony Award nominations overall, and another in 2007 for Spring Awakening. He won an Obie Award for Spring Awakening’s 2006 off-Broadway run and a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award for his choreography of the off-Broadway production of The Seven.

In 2011, Jones opened a new chapter in his career and the Company’s history with the merger of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and the iconic Dance Theater Workshop to form New York Live Arts, an organization that supports the nation’s dance and movement-based artists through new approaches to producing, presenting and educating and which serves as the home of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Jones was named Executive Artistic Director of the organization, where he works closely with Artistic Director Carla Peterson and Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Jean Davidson to expand the cultural footprint of movement-based artists and performance. Jones also continues in his role as Artistic Director of his company, working with Associate Artistic Director Janet Wong to create new work, reconsider historically significant pieces, and continue to contribute to “the world of ideas.”

EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES

In its 30th Anniversary season, the Company will continue to expand its dynamic education program, led by Leah Cox. The 2012-2013 academic year marks the Company’s fourth year in partnership with the Bard College Dance Program, where Company teaching artists and Live Arts guest artists teach an innovative curriculum designed to cultivate the next generation of dancemakers and creative thinkers. During the next academic year, Bard students will learn Cunningham technique from former Cunningham dancers Melissa Toogood and Daniel Squire, as well as other approaches to movement from teacher/dancer/choreographer Jesse Zaritt and former Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company dancers Stuart Singer and Asli Bulbul. Additionally, students at university and college dance programs throughout the U.S. will reconstruct significant Company works for performance. The Company also conducts intensive workshops for professional and pre-professional dancers and produces a broad range of discussion events at home and on the road.

Upcoming reconstruction projects include: Reading, Mercy and the Artificial Nigger and Mercy 10×8 on a Circle at California State University-Long Beach; D-Man in the Waters (Part I) and The Gift/No God Logic at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; D-Man in the Waters (Part I) at the Boston Conservatory; D-Man in the Waters (Part I) at University of Wisconsin-Madison; Spent Days Out Yonder at Loyola Marymount University; D-Man in the Waters (Part I) at University of Michigan; D-Man in the Waters at University of North Carolina School of the Arts; and a performance tour of D-Man in the Waters (Part I) in Taiwan by students of Taipei National University of the Arts.

2012-2013 TOUR PROGRAMS

A Meditation on The Rite of Spring (2013) (working title) represents an intriguing and powerful collaboration between two leading American directors and their companies. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company combine forces to explore the impact of this revolutionary piece of music, imagining the consequence of hearing the score played for the very first time. Commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts.

Story/Time (2012) is inspired by legendary artist and composer John Cage’s Indeterminacy (1958), a work in which Cage sat alone on stage reading an unbroken stream of one-minute stories to a small audience. In Story/Time, Bill T. Jones reads his own one-minute stories amidst a spellbinding landscape of dance and original music composed and mixed live by collaborator Ted Coffey. Mentored by Cage’s modernist approach and governed by chance procedures, this “wondrously original” (Dance Magazine) and “radically engaging” (The Minneapolis Star-Tribune) work is an ever-changing score that yields a unique performance each night. The San Francisco Chronicle called it “…a dance theater rollercoaster with surprises around every corner.” Co-commissioned by Peak Performances at Montclair State University (NJ) and the Walker Art Center.

Classical Music Program features a collection of works set to chamber music, including D-Man in the Waters, Spent Days Out Yonder, and Continuous Replay, performed with a new musical score. All performances of the program in New York and on tour will be accompanied by live music.

Set to Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major for Strings, Op. 20, D-Man in the Waters  (1989, revised 1998) is Jones’s joyful tour de force and was recently reconstructed in full for the first time since 2002. The New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award-winning classic is a celebration of life and the resiliency of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope and triumph. The New York Times stated, “Rarely has one seen a dance company throw itself onto the stage with such kinetic exaltation.”

Spent Days Out Yonder  (2001) is a pure musical exploration, rare in the Bill T. Jones canon, a meditation on the second movement of Mozart’s String Quartet No. 23 in F Major.  The choreography is firmly rooted in Jones’s elegant, weighted movement vocabulary, paired with a sublime score performed live by a local string octet.

Continuous Replay (1977, 1991) is a work that traces Arnie Zane’s interests in photography and film. Originally choreographed by Zane in 1977 as a solo titled Hand Dance and later revised as a group work by Bill T. Jones in 1991, Continuous Replay is based on 45 precise gestures accumulated in space and time. A new score by Jerome Begin incorporates material from Ludwig Van Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18 No. 1 and String Quartet Op. 135.

New works for the program to be premiered during the 2012-2013 season will be Ravel: Landscape or Portrait? set to Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, and Story set to Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor (Death and the Maiden).

Body Against Body (2011) returns to Bill T. Jones’s roots in the avant-garde with a program that revives and reconsiders the challenging, groundbreaking works that launched Jones and the late Arnie Zane, his partner and collaborator of 17 years. Still some of the most significant examples of the postmodern aesthetic, these pieces redefined the duet form and changed the face of American dance. Both conceptually and physically rigorous, the works take on new life through the diverse dancers of Jones’s company, providing a rare look at the origins of an iconoclastic artistic sensibility. Commissioned by the ICA/Boston.

30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR SCHEDULE

About Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
Bill T. Jones, a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer, has received major honors ranging from a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award to Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.  He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009 and named “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000.  His ventures into Broadway theater resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed FELA!, the musical co-conceived, co-written, directed and choreographed by Mr. Jones.  He also earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening, as well as an Obie Award for the show’s 2006 off-Broadway run.  His choreography for the off-Broadway production of The Seven  earned him a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award. In 2011, Mr. Jones was named Executive Artistic Director of New York Lives Arts.

Now in its 30th year, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company was born 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. Today, the nine member 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. In 2011, the Company merged with Dance Theater Workshop to form New York Live Arts.

About New York Live Arts
New York Live Arts strives to create a robust framework in support of the nation’s dance and movement-based artists through new approaches to producing, presenting and educating. In addition to our deep commitment to individual artists at all stages of their careers, we strive to create rich, meaningful experiences for our audiences by engaging them in ways that are intimate and thought-provoking. With our audience, we seek to become a place for dance that is vital to the fabric of social and cultural life in New York, the United States and beyond.

Formed in February 2011 by a merger of Dance Theater Workshop and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, New York Live Arts is a re-imagining of the legacies of these two extraordinary organizations. New York Live Arts is located at 219 West 19th Street in New York City and is led by Bill T. Jones as Executive Artistic Director, Carla Peterson as Artistic Director, and Jean Davidson as Executive Director and CEO. www.newyorklivearts.org

Funding Support
The creation of new work by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company is made possible with generous support from the company’s Partners in Creation: Joe Azrack & Abigail Congdon, Anne Delaney, Eleanor Friedman, Sandra Eskin, Ruth & Stephen Hendel, Ellen Poss, and Jane Bovingdon Semel & Terry Semel.

Major support for New York Live Arts is provided by: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Con Edison, Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Japan Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Lambent Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, MetLife Foundation, , New York Community Trust, Shubert Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Scherman Foundation and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.  New York Live Arts is supported by public funds administered by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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