February 20, 2012

Bill T. Jones returns to ASU Gammage for 2nd year of residency

Posted: February 20, 2012
Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones returns for year two of his ASU Gammage residency.

Contemporary performance icon and two-time Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones returns to ASU Gammage for his second year of residency. As part of the residency, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will present "Body Against Body" at 7 p.m., March 6, in the Galvin Playhouse, on the Tempe campus.

"Body Against Body" revives and reconsiders the duets and solos that launched Jones and Arnie Zane – his partner and collaborator of 17 years on the dance scene of the early 80s and redefined the dance landscape of the day.

Still some of the most significant examples of the postmodern aesthetic, these pieces redefined the duet form and changed the face of American dance. Both conceptually and physically rigorous, the works take on new life through the diverse dancers of Jones’s company, providing a rare look at the origins of a widely acclaimed choreographer. The pieces being performed will include:

"Blauvelt Mountain (A Fiction)," (1980, reconstructed 2002)

One of the first duets that Jones and Zane created together, "Blauvelt Mountain (A Fiction)" capitalizes on the disparities and specificities between distinct body types, often placing one person in a position of dependency. Eccentric and occasionally humorous tableaux, casual conversations and word associations are paired with rigorous partnering sequences to suggest the mental and emotional engagement, heightened awareness and intimacy necessary for successful partnering.

"Monkey Run Road," (1979, reconstructed 2011)

The earliest of the "Body Against Body" duets, "Monkey Run Road" reveals the early dance-making concerns of Jones and Zane. Traces of the duo’s background in jiu-jitsu, social dancing, photography and contact improvisation are readily seen in the piece, where repetitive, athletic phrases are punctuated by minimalist tasks and fragments of dialogue.

"Valley Cottage: A Study," (1980/1981, reconstructed 2011)

The newest reconstruction in the "Body Against Body" suite, "Valley Cottage: A Study" is an intimate duet that blends the demanding, post-modern movement vocabulary of Jones and Zane with original spoken text by current company members. Through authentic, often poignant and occasionally humorous anecdotes, the dancers reveal their individual personalities and relationships with each other – just as Jones and Zane did in the early 80s when they first created this evocative duet.

Tickets are $25 and $10 for students and on sale now at asugammage.com or by calling 480-965-3434.

Dana McGuiness, dana.mcguinness@asu.edu
480-965-1884
ASU Gammage