Tag Archives: JR

BILL T. JONES — ANALOGY TRILOGY

Arnie Zane [and I] built this company out of the same troubled milieu that we’re all living through right now—racism, sexism—and we have been able to make an organization that expressed my belief that art could save us.” — Bill T. Jones

As an innovator of post-modern dance since the 1970s and survivor of the American cultural wars of the ’80s, choreographer Bill T. Jones has endured catastrophes both political and personal. He lived through the disgrace of the government’s non-response to the AIDS epidemic, and lost Zane to the disease in 1988.

With his company—the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company—Jones’ created Still/Here (1994), a mixed-media, performance-art dance piece incorporating videotaped footage of terminally ill patients speaking into the camera. In an infamous attack on a work she declined to see firsthand, the New Yorker dance critic Arlene Croce railed against what she dismissed as foundation-dependent “victim art”:

“By working dying people into his act, Jones is putting himself beyond the reach of criticism. I think of him as literally undiscussable… because he has taken sanctuary among the unwell. Victim art defies criticism not only because we feel sorry for the victim but because we are cowed by art.”*

An uproar immediately followed, with Tony Kushner, Camille Paglia, Hilton Kramer, and Joyce Carol Oates weighing in from both sides. The author and activist bell hooks wrote:

“To write so contemptuously about a work one has not seen is an awesome flaunting of privilege—a testimony to the reality that there is no marginalized group or individual powerful enough to silence or suppress reactionary voices. Ms. Croce’s article is not courageous or daring, precisely because it merely mirrors the ruling political mood of our time.”*

After the publication of “Discussing the Undiscussable,” Croce’s output decreased significantly, while Jones—who recently dropped “dance” from his company’s title: “We are a contemporary performance ensemble”—has moved from strength to strength.**

This weekend at Royce Hall, CAP UCLA will present two complete performances of Jones’ ANALOGY TRILOGY, a durational work “focusing on memory and the effect of powerful events on the actions of individuals and, more importantly, on their often unexpressed inner life.” During the performance, musical accompaniment will be provided by composer Nick Hallett, pianist Emily Manzo, baritone Matthew Gamble, and the dancers.***

The trilogy can be seen in one daylong event, or as separate afternoon and evening performances:

ANALOGY/DORA: TRAMONTANE is based on the World War II experiences of French Jewish nurse Dora Amelan, the mother of Jones’ partner and company creative director Bjorn Amelan.

ANALOGY/LANCE: PRETTY aka THE ESCAPE ARTIST takes as its subject Jones’ nephew Lance Briggs. Art, in this case, could not save a life of promise after Lance quit dancing and turned to drugs and hustling.

ANALOGY/AMBROS: THE EMIGRANT draws from the W.G. Sebald novel The Emigrant to show how “trauma can go underground in the psyche of an individual and direct—consciously and unconsciously—the course of that individual’s life.”

 

BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE COMPANY

ANALOGY TRILOGY

Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4.

ANALOGY/DORA and ANALOGY/LANCE begin at 2 pm, with an intermission between parts.

ANALOGY/AMBROS begins at 7 pm.

The event breaks for dinner from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.

 

*Arlene Croce, “Discussing the Undiscussable,” in Writing in the Dark, Dancing in The New Yorker (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000), 708–719.

Croce’s article was originally published in the December 26, 1994–January 2, 1995 issue of The New Yorker.

The responses by bell hooks and others ran under “Who’s the Victim? Dissenting Voices Answer Arlene Croce’s Critique of Victim Art” in the January 30, 1995 issue of the magazine.

**Gia Kourlas, “Bill T. Jones is Making Room in Dance for More Than Dance,” New York Times, September 18, 2018.

***Dancers performing during the Royce Hall engagement include Vinson Fraley, Jr., Barrington Hinds, Shane Larson, I-Ling Liu, Penda N’Diaye, Jenna Riegel, Christina Robson, Carlo Antonio Villanueva, and Huiwang Zhang.

Color photographs: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Analogy Trilogy. Photographs by Paul B. Goode. Image credit: CAP UCLA.

Black and white photograph: Bill T. Jones (left) and Arnie Zane. Image credit: New York Live Arts.

L.A. DANCE PROJECT — MILLEPIED PREMIERES

The L.A. Dance Project–company-in-residence at The Wallis for 2017-2018—is tripling down for its fall season, with three Los Angeles premieres of work by choreographer and artistic director Benjamin MillepiedIN SILENCE WE SPEAK and ORPHEUS HIGHWAY, both from 2017, and CLOSER, a 2006 piece with music by Philip Glass.

In addition, the company will dance the U.S. premiere Noé Soulier’s SECOND QUARTET, which features music by the choreographer and Flemish DJ Tom De Cock.

 

L.A. DANCE PROJECT, Thursday through Saturday, November 2–4, at 7:30 pm.

THE WALLIS, 9390 Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills.

thewallis.org/show-info

ladanceproject.com

Current company members include Aaron Carr, David Adrian Freeland, Jr.Kaitlyn GillilandAxel Ibot, Daisy Jacobson, Nathan Makolandra, Francisco MungambaRachelle Rafailedes, Janie Taylor, Miranda Wattier, and Patricia Zhou.

L.A. Dance Project, in performance at The Wallis, November 2, 2017. From top:

Second Quartet, Nathan Makolandra and Rachelle Rafailedes; In Silence We Speak, Rafailedes (left) and Janie TaylorSecond Quartet, from left, David Adrian Freeland Jr., Makolandra, and Aaron Carr. Performance photographs by Lawrence K. Ho.

Benjamin Millepied. Photograph by Morgan Lugo. Image credit: The Wallis.

L.A. Dance Project 13_preview

L.A. Dance Project 27_preview

L.A. Dance Project 11_preview

Image result for in silence we speak millepied LA dance project

AGNÈS VARDA IN CALIFORNIA AND TORONTO

Agnès Varda’s film LIONS LOVE (… AND LIES)—shot in 1968 in the days preceding and following the shootings of Andy Warhol (who survived) and Bobby Kennedy (who didn’t)—is a story of Eden-under-siege among a trio of Hollywood Hills freedom-seekers, remarkably played by Warhol superstar Viva, and James Rado and Gerome Ragni (the lyricists of Hair).

“[Varda’s] film is more than a time capsule of events and moods—it’s a living aesthetic model for revolutionary times.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker*

LIONS LOVE (… AND LIES) is part of the Criterion Collection box AGNÈS VARDA IN CALIFORNIA (which also includes BLACK PANTHERS and DOCUMENTEUR), available now.

See Sasha Archibald, “End of the End of the End: Agnès Varda in Los Angeles”:

eastofborneo.org/articles/end-of-the-end-of-the-end-agnes-varda-in-los-angeles/

criterion.com/boxsets/1124-eclipse-series-43-agnes-varda-in-california

* newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/movies/lions-love-and-lies

This week in Toronto, Varda and her new collaborator, the French street artist JR, present their film VISAGES VILLAGES/FACES PLACES, wherein they roam the countryside in JR’s truck, encountering farmers, cheese makers, coal miners—the faces of whom JR memorializes in huge monochromatic portraits. Their journey eventually lands them at the door of Jean-Luc Godard.

VISAGES VILLAGES/FACES PLACES, Monday, September 11; Wednesday, September 13; Friday, September 15; and Sunday, September 17.

TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.

tiff.net/tiff/faces-places/

Film Comment interview with Varda is the cover story in the current issue.

AGNÈS VARDA—THE FILM COMMENT INTERVIEW, September/October 2017 issue.

www.filmcomment.com/

From top:

Agnès Varda and JR. Visages Villages/Faces Places (2016). Image credit: Le Pacte.

Gerome Ragni, Viva, and James Rado in Lions Loves… (and Lies), (1969). Image credit: Criterion.

Film Comment, September/October 2017 issue. Image credit: Film Comment.

The first issue of Interview, with Varda (center) and the cast of Lions Loves… (and Lies).

Agnès Varda et JR sur le tournage de "Visages, villages".

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