Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company

Serenade/The Proposition

One of three works that grew from Bill T. Jones’ interest in Abraham Lincoln, Serenade/The Proposition is described as his first attempt to grapple with issues of historical weight using the tools of dance and theater. What results is a spirited and lyrical sixty-minute production that moves gracefully from images and texts of early America to contemporary ideas of identity and belonging described in the dancers’ own words. What does history look like to someone born in 1981? How does his perception differ from someone born in 1954? Or 1881? Questions of historical perspective are close at hand in the piece, balanced by inventive group movement and dynamic solos set on a stage of movable columns animated by video projection.  Evoking the sounds and sentiments of Lincoln’s era, the original live score draws from Mozart’s Requiem, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Dixie” to create a contemporary, playful musical collage for cello, piano and soprano.