Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray

“I live with the uneasy feeling that society has shaped me as a result of something that was stolen from us when Abraham Lincoln was killed. The cynicism and alienation that I feel in my head and heart arose because of this strange turn of destiny.”–Bill T. Jones

Continuing this tradition of challenging, thought provoking work, Mr. Jones has created a new evening-length work about Abraham Lincoln Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray, which premiered at the Ravinia Festival and is now on tour. Commissioned by the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray has found Mr. Jones “leading with his own heart,” seeking a way to articulate if not reconcile the view of Lincoln he had as a young boy growing up during the civil rights struggle and as a mid-life liberal artist who “has very few heroes.” The most ambitious project in the Company's history, Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray investigates the myriad meanings of Lincoln, rejecting accepted truth in favor of challenging (and celebrating) the lasting contributions of this great man. This dance theatre work investigates a handful of key moments from his remarkable life, allowing song and memory to transport the audience to an emotional and intellectual space beyond the boundaries of space and time. By envisioning the America that might have been had Lincoln completed the Reconstruction, Mr. Jones exposes the great distance between what is and what could have been.