Continuing his tradition of thought-provoking work, Bill T. Jones commemorates the Abraham Lincoln bicentennial with a production exploring the life and legacy of this complex figure. Commissioned by Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, the dance-theater evening features the sophisticated movement of his diverse dancers accompanied by an original score for cello, guitar, piano and voice, performed live. The films of Janet Wong fill a striking, modern stage design while the conflicts that defined Lincoln’s time are embodied in the dance as the swirling forces of a maelstrom. Singers and an actor deliver a probing and uplifting libretto drawn from the Old Testament, the poems of Whitman, and Lincoln’s own words. The phrase taken from Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address to title the work, Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray captures the vision of the piece: an examination of what Lincoln and his time mean today, and our hopes for the future.
Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do Pray was commissioned by Ravinia Festival with co-commissioning support provided by Lincoln Center Festival and Indiana University Auditorium. Development support provided by Performing Arts Center Purchase College.