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October 26, 1998 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 26, 1998

Check out
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Dance moves audience

{jchardsons v sr t

By Anna Kovalszki
Daily Fine and Performing Arts Editor
As the lights dimmed, a surprise,
not included in the program, awaited
the audience at the Bill T. Jones/Arnie
Zane Dance Company's third appear-
ance in Ann Arbor. Instead of
embarking on the promised journey
through the history of the 20th
Century, the audience glimpsed a solo
performance by one of the creators of
the company, Bill T. Jones.
Titled "Etude" and set to Ludwig
van Beethoven's Quartet No. 16, the
short dance study was a joyful
expression of inner contemplation
and physical movement, with juxta-
positions of conformity and freedom.
Included were sexual gyrations, light
leaps into the air and in conclusion, a
slow, sensual use of hands and fingers
to introduce the rest of the perfor-
"We Set Out Early ... Visibility
Was Poor" consisted of three uninter-
rupted movements, interspersed with
flashes of light to introduce different
narrative elements. In effect, the per-
formance was as much kinetic, mir-
roring Jones' concerns of "dance ...
as a means of communication, a
bridge, if you will, with the world," as
The first section, "On the TSII,"
uses mechanized forms and move-

real, as if a Dali
we set out
Power Center
Oct. 23, 1998

painting were mim-
icked on stage.
Another became
a soldier's
march, con-
cerned with
training in wars.
Light departures
were given as the
dance move-
ments of the cen-
tury, such as the
tango, waltz and
ragtime were
The colors of
costume and set

ment, highlighted by the metallic stat-
uary pieces in the background. Set to
Igor Stravinsky's "L'Histoire Du
Soldat," it is concerned with the
industrialism of the early century. The
characters wear strange costumes; a
man wears a skirt. These individuals
come together to show dynamic as
well as static forms.
One section looked especially sur-

became disassembled and made into a
wagon, which was raised up into the
sky. A large oval-shaped chrysalis of
light slowly moved across the sky,
illuminating the dancers and the mes-
merized audience. We all somehow
communicated in this transition
piece, in musical terms that Jones
finds, "as pure and moving as
"Voiceland," the final movement,
was set to Latvian modern composer
Peteris Vasks' symphony for strings,
"Stimmen." Named after the German
term for voices, this piece examines
the community and the isolation of
modern society. Nature and its sounds
are incorporated, as well as ecological
catastrophes. In its concluding notes,
a comforting inclusion of a formerly
isolated dancer shows us that human-
ity still exists, although it is
expressed strangely in indistinguish-
able language. It is. language resem-
bling birdsong, a reference to the con-
tinuity of nature.
Bill T. Jones' concerns that his
dance company be a representative
microcosm of the world community
are evident. His group of 10 dancers
incorporates all body types and cul-
tural representatives, and somehow
they are completely one. Their diver-
sity only adds to their power for

Courtesy of the University Musical Society
Dancers of the Bill T. Jones/Amie Zane Dance Company performed In "We Set Out
Early ... Visibility was Poor" this past Friday at the Power Center.

lighting were mostly bright. The sec-
ond piece, set to "the music of John
Cage, titled "Cape Bardo" became a
contemplative, slow-motion, incredi-
bly sensual production, with cool and
light blues highlighting the softness,
and perhaps beauty, of the dancing
figures and forms. The statues

Judging by the packed Power
Center, many have come to appreciate
this dance company. As the audience
gave an encouraging rhythmic stand-
ing ovation, Bill T. Jones, along with
the rest of the company, danced off
the stage with a "get-down" feel.
Their love for the art of dance, their

talent not only as dancers but also as
actors and their movements as on*
concluded on a light note. In effect
this was a testimony to the enjoyment
of the moment. They were the embod-
iment of Jones' concern with, "a
human community in the process of

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