The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Presents the World Premiere of STORY/TIME, Beginning 1/21
The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will present the world premiere of Jones' "Story/Time" at Peak Performances at Montclair State University, January 21-22 & 26-29. "Story/Time" marks Jones' third commission from Peak.
Two years in the making, the 70-minute dance-theater work is inspired by John Cage's 1959 classic, "Indeterminacy," in which Cage read 90 one-minute stories while David Tudor performed on piano. Jones created his own one-minute, highly personal stories of which he reads 70 per evening while members of his dance company perform around his seated figure. Played live by composer, the music is an original score created by Ted Coffey. The set designer is Bjorn Amelan and the costumes are by Liz Prince. Robert Wierzel is the lighting designer. The order of the music, stories and choreography is determined through chance operations.
"Story/Time" will next be seen February 16-19 at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN, which co-commissioned the work along with Peak, followed by performances at Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA, February 24-25; UApresents in Tucson, AZ, March 3; and at FirstWorks in Providence, RI, March 10.
ABOUT Bill T. Jones
Bill T. Jones (Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Choreographer), a choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer, has received major honors ranging from a 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award to Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009 and named "An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure" by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. His ventures into Broadway theater resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed "FELA!," the new musical co-conceived, co-written, directed and choreographed by Mr. Jones. He also earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in "Spring Awakening" as well as an Obie Award for the show's 2006 off-Broadway run. His choreography for the off-Broadway production of "The Seven" earned him a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award.
Mr. Jones began his dance training at the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY), where he studied classical ballet and modern dance. After living in Amsterdam, Mr. Jones returned to SUNY, where he became co-founder of the American Dance Asylum in 1973. In 1982 he formed the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (then called Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company) with his late partner, Arnie Zane. In 2011, Mr. Jones was named Executive Artistic Director of New York Lives Arts, an organization that strives to create a robust framework in support of the nation's dance and movement-based artists through new approaches to producing, presenting and educating. For more information visit www.newyorklivearts.org.
In addition to creating more than 140 works for his own company, Mr. Jones has received many commissions to create dances for modern and ballet companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, and Berlin Opera Ballet, among others. In 1995, Mr. Jones directed and performed in a collaborative work with Toni Morrison and Max Roach, "Degga," at Alice Tully Hall, commissioned by Lincoln Center's Serious Fun Festival. His collaboration with Jessye Norman, "How! Do! We! Do!," premiered at New York's City Center in 1999.
His work in dance has been recognized with the 2010 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; and the 1993 Dance Magazine Award. His additional awards include the Harlem Renaissance Award in 2005; the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award in 1991; multiple New York Dance and Performance Bessie Awards for his works "The Table Project" (2001), "The Breathing Show" (2001), "D-Man in the Waters" (1989) and the Company's groundbreaking season at The Joyce Theater (1986). In 1980, 1981 and 1982, Mr. Jones was the recipient of Choreographic Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1979 he was granted the Creative Artists Public Service Award in Choreography.
Mr. Jones was profiled on NBC Nightly News and The Today Show in 2010 and was a guest on the Colbert Report in 2009. Also in 2010, he was featured in HBO's documentary series "MASTERCLASS," which follows notable artists as they mentor aspiring young artists. In 2009, Mr. Jones appeared on one of the final episodes of Bill Moyers Journal, discussing his Lincoln suite of works. He was also one of 22 prominent black Americans featured in the HBO documentary "The Black List" in 2008. In 2004, ARTE France and Bel Air Media produced Bill T. Jones–Solos, highlighting three of his iconic solos from a cinematic point of view. The making of "Still/Here" was the subject of a documentary by Bill Moyers and David Grubin entitled "Bill T. Jones: Still/Here with Bill Moyers" in 1997. Additional television credits include telecasts of his works "Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land" (1992) and "Fever Swamp" (1985) on PBS's "Great Performances" Series. In 2001, "D-Man in the Waters" was broadcast on the Emmy-winning documentary "Free to Dance."
Bill T. Jones' interest in new media and digital technology has resulted in collaborations with the team of Paul Kaiser, Shelley Eshkar and Marc Downie, now known as OpenEnded Group. The collaborations include "After Ghostcatching – the 10th Anniversary re-imagining of Ghostcatching" (2010, SITE Sante Fe Eighth International Biennial); "22" (2004, Arizona State University's Institute for Studies In The Arts and Technology, Tempe, AZ); and "Ghostcatching - A Virtual Dance Installation" (1999, Cooper Union, New York, NY).
He has received honorary doctorates from Yale University, Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, Columbia College, Skidmore College, the Juilliard School, Swarthmore College and the State University of New York at Binghamton Distinguished Alumni Award, where he began his dance training with studies in classical ballet and modern dance.
Mr. Jones' memoir, "Last Night on Earth," was published by Pantheon Books in 1995. An in-depth look at the work of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane can be found in "Body Against Body: The Dance and Other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane," published by Station Hill Press in 1989. Hyperion Books published "Dance, a children's book" written by Bill T. Jones and photographer Susan Kuklin in 1998. Mr. Jones contributed to "Continuous Replay: The Photography of Arnie Zane," published by MIT Press in 1999.
In addition to his Company and Broadway work, Mr. Jones also choreographed Sir Michael Tippet's "New Year" (1990) for Houston Grand Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. "His Mother of Three Sons" was performed at the Munich Biennale, New York City Opera and the Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Jones also directed "Lost in the Stars" for the Boston Lyric Opera. Additional theater projects include co-directing "Perfect Courage" with Rhodessa Jones for Festival 2000 in 1990. In 1994, he directed Derek Walcott's "Dream on Monkey Mountain" for The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN.
Now in its 29th year, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company was born out of an 11-year collaboration between Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane (1948–1988). During this time, they redefined the duet form and foreshadowed issues of identity, form and social commentary that would change the face of American dance. The Company emerged onto the international scene in 1983 with the world premiere of "Intuitive Momentum," which featured legendary drummer Max Roach, at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music. Since then, the 10-member Company has performed worldwide in over 200 cities in 30 countries on every major continent. Today, the Company is recognized as one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the modern dance world.
The repertory of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company is widely varied in its subject matter, visual imagery and stylistic approach to movement, voice and stagecraft and includes music-driven works as well as works using a variety of texts. The Company has been acknowledged for its intensely collaborative method of creation that has included artists as diverse as Keith Haring, Cassandra Wilson, The Orion String Quartet, the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, Fred Hersch, Jenny Holzer, Robert Longo, Julius Hemphill and Daniel Bernard Roumain, among others. The collaborations of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with visual artists were the subject of "Art Performs Life" (1998), a groundbreaking exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.
Some of its most celebrated creations are evening length works including "Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land" (1990, Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music); "Still/Here" (1994, Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, France); "We Set Out Early… Visibility Was Poor" (1996, Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, IA); "You Walk?" (2000, European Capital of Culture 2000, Bolgna, Italy); "Blind Date" (2006, Peak Performances at Montclair State University); "Chapel/Chapter" (2006, Harlem Stage Gatehouse); and "Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray" (2009, Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL). The ongoing, site-specific, "Another Evening" was last performed in its seventh incarnation as "Another Evening: Venice/Arsenale" (2010, La Biennale di Venezia).
The Company has also produced two evenings centered on Bill T. Jones' solo performance: "The Breathing Show" (1999, Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, IA) and "As I Was Saying…" (2005, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN).
The Company has been featured in many publications, and one of the most in-depth examinations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane's collaborations can be found in "Body Against Body: The Dance and Other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane" (1989 - Station Hill Press) edited by Elizabeth Zimmer.
The Company has received numerous awards, including New York Dance and Performance Awards ("Bessie") for "Chapel/Chapter" at Harlem Stage (2006), "The Table Project" (2001), "D-Man in the Waters" (1989 and 2001), musical scoring and costume design for "Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land" (1990) and for the groundbreaking Joyce Theater season (1986). The Company was nominated for the 1999 Laurence Olivier Award for "Outstanding Achievement in Dance and Best New Dance Production" for "We Set Out Early… Visibility was Poor."
The Company celebrated its landmark 20th anniversary at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music with 37 guest artists including Susan Sarandon, Cassandra Wilson and Vernon Reid. "The Phantom Project: The 20th Season" presented a diverse repertoire of over 15 revivals and new works.
During the Company's 25th anniversary season in 2007, Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL offered the Company its most significant commission to date: to create a work to honor the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. The Company created three new productions in response: "100 Migrations" (2008), a site-specific community performance project; "Serenade/The Proposition" (2008), examining the nature of history; and "Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray" (2009), the making of which is the subject of a feature-length documentary by Kartemquin Films entitled "A Good Man," which was broadcast on PBS American Masters in 2011.
The Company has distinguished itself through extensive community outreach and educational programs, including partnerships with Bard College, where company members teach an innovative curriculum rooted in the Company's creative model and highly collaborative methods; and with Lincoln Center Institute, which uses Company works in its educator-training and in-school repertory programs. University and college dance programs throughout the U.S. work with the Company to reconstruct significant works for their students. The Company conducts intensive workshops for professional and pre-professional dancers and produces a broad range of discussion events at home and on the road, all born from the strong desire to "participate in the world of ideas."
In 2010, the Company announced a groundbreaking merger with Dance Theater Workshop that The New York Times said could "alter the contemporary dance landscape in New York." The organization, called New York Live Arts, strives to create a robust framework in support of the nation's dance and movement-based artists through new approaches to producing, presenting and educating. For more information: www.newyorklivearts.org
TICKET, TRANSPORTATION AND DINING INFORMATION
Performance times: January 21 and 28 at 8pm, January 22 and 29 at 3pm, January 26 and 27 at 7:30pm
Charter bus service is provided from New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal – arcade on 41st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues – to the Alexander Kasser Theater ($10 per person, roundtrip) for the Saturday performance. Bus reservations may be made by calling 973-655-5112 or by visitinghttp://www.peakperfs.org.
For restaurants close to the Alexander Kasser Theater, visit http://www.destinationmontclair.com
Montclair State University is located at 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07043.