Eminent Artist Bill T. Jones Residency Concludes with Repertory Concert

November 8, 2011
People dancing
Artist-in-Residence Bill T. Jones will complete his time at the University of Wyoming with a performance by UW students of, "Continuous Momentum: The Works of Bill T. Jones."

Artist-in-Residence Bill T. Jones will complete his time at the University of Wyoming with a performance by UW students of, "Continuous Momentum: The Works of Bill T. Jones."

The performance runs Nov. 15-19 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 20 at 2 p.m., on the Fine Arts main stage. Tickets cost $14 for the public, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for students. For ticket information, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.

Students will perform four pieces from the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company (BTJ/AZ) repertory: "D-man in the Waters," "Continuous Replay," "Duet," and "Power/Full."

"The student performance of Jones' choreography is the highlight of the semester-long project with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane dance company Eminent Artist-in-Residence project," says Margaret Wilson, dance faculty member who has facilitated the residency. "For the students to have the opportunity to learn about the choreography and perform it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they will never forget."

The pieces, which were reconstructed this fall at UW by BTJ/AZ teaching artists Catherine Cabeen and Nicole Smith, represent several different phases of the company's work.

"The dancers become a part of living history - recreating works that were set in the 1970s to early 1990s," Wilson says. "The dance world now is a different place than it was at that time, but the dancers validate those works, and the reasons why they were created, by performing them for 2011 audiences."

The concert opens with "Power/Full" (1995/revised 2002), a piece originally devised as a rigorous formal movement study created by Jones in 1995. The score is in two contrasting parts composed by Canadians John Oswald and Laurel MacDonald.

Following is "Continuous Replay," (1977/revised 1991) a piece originally choreographed by Zane as the solo "Hand Dance" and as a duet by Zane and Jones, and later restaged by Jones as an ensemble work.

"Duet," (1995/revised 2002) explores the ideas of pure movement and abstraction. This unusually stark work takes Jones' most sophisticated movement to task and draws on the tension between, and the elegance inherit in, two people moving together in perfect unison.

The concert closes with one of the company's signature pieces, "D-Man in the Waters" (1989), an exhaustive pursuit of water as a metaphor, choreographed to the first movement of Felix Mendelssohn's spirited "Octet in E-flat Major." It is described as "an uplifting and accessible celebration of the resiliency of the human spirit."

"Watching the dancers learn, rehearse and prepare these works for performance has been very satisfying for the UW dance faculty," Wilson says. "Our students are well prepared to do this work with the training that they receive here, and the opportunity to perform the work of a master choreographer like Jones is a validation of all of our efforts."

Wyoming PBS will air an interview with Jones Friday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. It precedes a national PBS documentary about Jones scheduled at 9 p.m. Check local listings for channel information or go to www.wyomingpbs.org for a complete schedule of channel numbers.

A tour of the repertory concert is scheduled for Dec. 10-13; all performances are at 7 p.m.:

Saturday, Dec. 10, Central Wyoming College, Riverton;

Sunday, Dec. 11, Campbell County High School, Gillette;

Monday, Dec. 12, Eastern Wyoming College, Torrington; and

Wednesday, Dec. 13, Niobrara County High School, Lusk.

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