Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company
Rescheduled for May 19 – 26
We are happy to share the rescheduled dates for Afterwardsness, commissioned by the Park Avenue Armory as part of its Social Distance Hall season. Originally slated to premiere on March 24 and now taking place May 19 – 26, 2021, the production was postponed when members of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company tested positive for COVID-19. The health and well-being of our Company members, collaborators, and staff are of utmost importance, and we look forward to the entire cast and creative team coming together again for this anticipated world premiere. As we work to create, to support artists, and to bring live performance back to the public during this unprecedented time, we are grateful to the everyone at the Park Avenue Armory and all New York Live Arts supporters for their care and well wishes.
Bill T. Jones, Creator, Director, & Choreographer
Janet Wong, Associate Artistic Director
Brian H. Scott, Lighting Designer
Mark Grey, Sound Designer
Pauline Kim Harris, Music Director, Violinist, & Composer
Holland Andrews, Composer, Vocalist
In the psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud, afterwardsness is “a mode of belated understanding or retroactive attribution of sexual or traumatic meaning to earlier events… “ Jettisoning the sexual component and emphasizing the notion of “trauma”, this awkward though evocative term comes very close to describing Jones’ state of mind when offered a commission to create a socially-distanced work at this particular collective moment. In some ways, the title parodies Jones’ (and many others’) desire to have reached an end point to our twin pandemics: COVID-19 and and on-going violence against Black bodies.
The piece has been constructed quickly and within the constraints and uncertainty of social distancing. Afterwardsness engages a retrospective dimension from choreographic assignments given to the dancers during their isolation. The dancers studied archival videos and learned phrase material stretching back 40 years and no longer in the company’s repertory. Musical Director Pauline Kim Harris, in collaboration with composer/vocalist/instrumentalist Holland Andrews, created a composite score that includes Kim’s original work 8’46”—an homage to George Floyd—as well as compositions by Andrews and company members, Vinson Fraley, Jr. and Chanel Howard. Following the work’s retroactive logic, the score also includes a conscious excerpting of Olivier Messaien’s great war-time composition Quartet for the End of Time.
“Creating new, body-based work at a time when physical proximity is discouraged is no small feat. However, as is often the case when artists are forced to push through limitations, this is when things get really good,” said Bill T. Jones. “Having the Drill Hall, this grand and glorious space to create and dance in, was quite liberating. The Armory is a space like no other in New York City—and if it’s like no other in New York City, then it’s pretty unique in the world.”
The Armory, with its immense, 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall, and multiple airy rooms and entrances—allowing an air volume comparable to being outdoors—can provide an early pathway and model for the re-opening of the performing arts in New York and beyond. The Armory and its consultant team have designed seating plans for Afterwardsness for audiences at 10% of the Drill Hall’s normal capacity, in which audience members are placed 9’ – 12’ apart in every direction.
Rigorous safety protocols for audiences that extend from arrival, entry and seating to performance and departure have been developed, workshopped, and tested with invited audiences. Among these safety procedures are: masks worn properly at all times; a detailed and monitored choreography of audience flow to ensure artists, patrons, and staff are socially distanced at all times throughout their visit; contactless temperature checks and ticket scanning outside at the door; no points of gathering in the building or on the sidewalk; no retail concessions, food and beverages, or ticket sales; restroom use one person at a time, with cleaning between each use; and refreshing of the Drill Hall air three times pre-show and post-show. Rapid Testing will be conducted on-site at the Armory. The test is at no cost to the patron.
Your Health and Safety Are Important to Us
• All audience members are pre-screened for COVID-19 and rapid-tested on site before entering the performance space; anyone with a positive test leaves the building immediately
• Strict “no masks/no entry” policy
• Social distancing is rigorously enforced at all times
• Seats are individually spaced 9 feet apart
• All ticket scanning and temperature taking is contactless
• No gathering permitted in the building or on the sidewalks
• Air refreshing in the performance area exceeds CDC and ASHRAE standards
• Restroom facilities are disinfected between each use
• Stay home if you are feeling sick
• Wear your mask properly at all times
• Respect social distancing of 6 feet at all times
• Follow the directions of the Armory staff
• Use hand-sanitizing stations provided throughout the building
• There is no coat check; an individual bin for coats is provided under each chair
• Audience members are encouraged to arrive 1 hour and 15 minutes before start time
• Because on-site testing takes 15 minutes, audience members will not be admitted within 20 minutes of the performance start time
• There is no late seating
If health conditions do not permit the re-opening of the Armory on the dates noted, the performances will be canceled, all tickets will be immediately refunded, and if possible, the performances will be rescheduled.