Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Music @ Valley Performing Arts Center, Northridge, CA

Play and Play: an Evening of Movement and Music (2012) 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. 20D-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,” and Financial Times raved that “D-Man in the Waters Radiates the clarity of love.”

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. As The New York Times states, “…it offers a clearer look at the tension between loose swing and angular articulation in Mr. Jones’s movement. It shows his skill in establishing a foreground and a background while letting them blend.”

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 work that “sticks in the mind” (New York Theater Wire), Continuous Replay “is a thorough primer in Jones/Zane style: sharp versus flowing, large versus small, straight versus angled” (The New York Times). A new score by Jerome Begin incorporates material from Ludwig Van Beethoven's String Quartet Op. 18 No. 1 and String Quartet Op. 135.

Ravel: Landscape or Portrait? (2012) responds to Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major (1903), reflecting the wistful and melancholic sentiment of the score as well as its precision and restraint. Similar to the music’s complicated internal logic, one of two choreographic variations for the third movement (either landscape or portrait) is selected by chance procedure before each performance. The New York Times describes the work as “made up of protean tableaus” with “Arresting moments…continually absorbed into the flow.”

/Story (2013) is a continuation of the Company’s investigation in using indeterminacy as a choreographic tool. Following the model for the acclaimed Story/Time, the work employs a random menu of movement that is interrogated by Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No 14 in D Minor (Death and the Maiden) to craft an energetic conversation between the music and movement. Called a “strong” work with “compellingly enigmatic duets…’Story/’ is alive with glimpses of ordinary life” (The New York Times).