Celebrated as a masterful and magnetic soloist, Bill T. Jones, building on the success of his last solo work, The Breathing Show (1999), creates an eclectic new evening-length production: As I Was Saying… Comprised from three different works, it typifies Jones’ characteristic blend of wit and poignancy. The evening is built on modularity that allows Jones to recombine various dances such as:
With the Good Lord: A response to “The Nazz,” a recorded nightclub performance by the legendary Lord Buckley – a 1950’s performance jazz artist whose exuberant rhyming style is viewed by many as an influential precursor to today’s rappers. Through his Beat-era jargon, punctuated with sound effects and asides, Jones’ movement reflects Lord Buckley’s extravagant twists and hyper hip rhythms of the English language.
22: In this work, Jones reshapes his 1983 whimsical talking solo, 21, into a new work. The outcome of an experimental fine arts and engineering project at Arizona State University’s Institute for Studies in the Arts, this piece was created with collaborators Paul Kaiser, Shelley Eshkar, engineer Marc Downie, set and lighting designer Robert Wierzel, and accompanied live on electric violin by Daniel Bernard Roumain.
Chaconne: The past and memory also play a large role in Jones’s present. Chaconne is framed around spoken text and the music of Bach’s haunting D-Minor Partita for Solo Violin played live by celebrated musician Nurit Pacht or a local violinist. “Jones’ musicality shines through his muscular choreography in a kinetic affirmation of the power of art.” – Camille Lefevre, Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 4, 2005