NEW YORK LIVE ARTS
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
in the New York City Premiere of
Body Against Body
September 16-17, 20-24 at 7:30pm
September 18, 25 at 5:00pm
New York, NY, August 11, 2011 – New York Live Arts opens its inaugural year season with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in the New York City Premiere of Body Against Body, September 16-17 and 20-24 at 7:30pm with matinee performances September 18 and 25 at 5:00pm.
Body Against Body returns to Bill T. Jones’s (Executive Artistic Director of New York Live Arts and Artistic Director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company) roots in the avant-garde with a program that revives and reconsiders the challenging, groundbreaking works that launched Jones and the late Arnie Zane, his partner and collaborator of 17 years. These seminal works, two of which premiered at Dance Theater Workshop in the ‘80s, include some of the most significant examples of the postmodern aesthetic; pieces that redefined the duet form and changed the face of American dance.
Part of New York Live Arts’ Replay Series, Body Against Body will be presented in two alternating programs. Program A (September 16, 18, 21, 23, 25) includes a special performance of Continuous Replay (1977/2001) with surprise guest artists, as well as the newly reconstructed duets Valley Cottage: A Study (1980) and Monkey Run Road (1979), pieces not seen in New York City since their premiere performances by Jones and Zane at Dance Theater Workshop. Program B (September 17, 20, 22, 24) also includes a special performance of Continuous Replay (1977/2001) and a different set of duets, Blauvelt Mountain (A Fiction) (1980/2002) and Duet x 2 (1982/2003). Toronto-based composer and provocateur John Oswald (Plunderphonics) will accompany Continuous Replay on September 16 – 20 and 22 – 25. New York-based experimental musician DJ Spooky will accompany on September 15 and September 21.
Remounting these historically significant works for the inaugural season opener of New York Live Arts is a fitting way to acknowledge the organization’s foundation and its future promise – a way of looking back to look forward. Collectively, the works in Body Against Body reveal the early dance-making concerns of their creators: conceptually and physically rigorous partnering sequences demonstrate how Jones and Zane explored the disparities and specificities between their distinct body types and backgrounds, while the choreography reveals traces of their interests in karate, social dancing, photography, contact improvisation and other disciplines. Each piece takes on new life through the Company’s diverse dancers, and the program as a whole provides a rare, intriguing look at the origins that precipitated Jones’s career, an artist now internationally recognized for his Company’s large-scale dance-theater works as well as his Tony Award-winning choreography on Broadway.
In conjunction with the Body Against Body performances, a work by iconic artist Keith Haring titled The Garden of Radio Delight will be on display in the Live Gallery. Haring created the piece in 1984 as a set design for Secret Pastures, a work choreographed by Jones and Zane and performed by the Company at the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1984.
As part of New York Live Arts’ Premiere Gala on September 15, the Company will perform Continuous Replay joined by a special cast of guest artists, and Blauvelt Mountain (A Fiction), one of the earliest duets Jones and Zane created together. Bill T. Jones will take the stage for a one-time only special solo performance. Chaired by New York Live Arts trustee Madeline Brine, the Gala brings together loyal supporters and leaders in business, academia, visual arts and performing arts for this live performance beginning at 7:00 pm at the organization’s home in Chelsea, followed by dinner at 8:30 pm at the Paula Cooper Gallery in West Chelsea, with a custom menu created by celebrity chef David Waltuck of Ark Restaurants and Chanterelle.
Performances will take place at New York Live Arts’ Bessie Schönberg Theater. A pre-show discussion on September 21 at 6:00pm with Bill T. Jones and scholar/critic Marcia B. Siegel will examine the history and cultural context of the pieces performed. A post-show discussion with Bill T. Jones and the Company will take place on September 23. Tickets are $32 in advance, $40 day of performance, and $15 on September 20. Tickets are available online at tickets.newyorklivearts.org, by phone at 212-924-0077, and in person at the box office. Box office hours are Monday to Friday from 1 to 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 8pm. Tickets will be available online at www.newyorklivearts.org in mid-August. New York Live Arts is located at 219 West 19th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues) in New York City.
The reconstruction of Body Against Body has been made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius. Body Against Body was commissioned by The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. The Company’s performances of Body Against Body are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Body Against Body was made possible with support from the Company’s commissioning program, “Partners in Creation,” which includes the following donors: the Argosy Foundation, Abigail Congdon and Joe Azrack, Anne Delaney, Eleanor Friedman, Barbara and Eric Dobkin, Sandra and Gerald Eskin, Ruth and Stephen Hendel, Ellen Poss, Jane Bovington Semel and Terry Semel and Carol H. Tolan.
About Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
Bill T. Jones, a multi-talented artist, 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 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. In 2011, Mr. Jones was named Executive Artistic Director of New York Lives Arts.
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. Today, the 9-member Company has performed worldwide in over 200 cities in 40 countries on every major continent and is recognized as one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the modern dance world. In 2011, the Company merged with Dance Theater Workshop to form New York Live Arts.
About New York Live Arts
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. In addition to our deep commitment to individual artists at all stages of their careers, we endeavor to create rich, meaningful experiences for our audiences by engaging them in ways that are intimate and thought-provoking. With our audience, we seek to become a place for dance that is vital to the fabric of social and cultural life in New York, the United States and beyond.
Formed in February 2011 by a merger of Dance Theater Workshop and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, New York Live Arts is a re-imagining of the legacies of these two extraordinary organizations. New York Live Arts is located at 219 West 19th Street in New York City and is led by Bill T. Jones as Executive Artistic Director, Carla Peterson as Artistic Director, and Jean Davidson as Executive Director and CEO. www.newyorklivearts.org
Lead support for New York Live Arts is provided, in part, by The Ford Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Open Society Foundations and the Fund for the City of New York, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and EmcArts Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Booth Ferris Foundation, the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding, SeaChange Capital Partners, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The Howard Gilman Foundation, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Jerome Foundation and The Scherman Foundation.
The merger of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop to form New York Live Arts was supported, in part, by The Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and EmcArts Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts, Booth Ferris Foundation, SeaChange Capital Partners, The New York Community Trust and Mertz Gilmore Foundation.
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