“No other dancer-choreographer working today allows past, present and future to mingle so freely in his body.”
“Bill T. Jones, choreographer, philosopher, and political commentator, makes works of art that reflect the turmoil at the center of our society.”
The Patriot Ledger
The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane 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 Company has performed worldwide in over 200 cities in 35 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 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, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and Anne Bogart/SITI Company, among others. The collaborations of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane 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 Dansein 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, RaviniaFestival, Highland Park, IL), Analogy Trilogy (2015-2017).
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, 2001, 2013), 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 has distinguished itself through extensive community outreach and educational programs, including partnerships with Bard College, Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles, California. 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.