Bill T. Jones: Four Duets

1982, 48:55 min, color, sound

Award-winning choreographer/dancer Bill T. Jones came to prominence in the early 1980s, when he founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with his long-term partner Arnie Zane. Jones and Zanes' "new wave" choreography often featured video, text, and autobiographical references, with costumes and sets by noted downtown artists. On four consecutive evenings between September 30 and October 3, 1982, Jones presented four dance pieces at The Kitchen. The documentation of those dances represents a snapshot of the early 1980s dance scene. In the first performance, Long Distance, Jones performs a powerful solo while artist Keith Haring moves behind him, painting a the wall with his iconic, graffiti-like images. Jones dances in silence, with the strokes of Haring's brush the only accompanying sound. To create the second piece, The Double, Jones collaborated with Rob Besserer and Brian Arsenault. This intimate duet is performed in two parts, the first by Jones and Arsenault, the second by Jones and Besserer. In the third performance, Shared Distance, Jones dances with Julie West, who performed with Jones' company at that time. The last performance, Response-ability, is a solo piece for Jones. Haring's painting serves as the sole set design for the performances.

Long Distance: Choreographer/Dancer: Bill T. Jones.

The Double: Developed in collaboration by Bill T. Jones and Rob Besserer, with additional materials by Brian Arsenault. Part 1: With Brian Arsenault. Part 2: With Rob Besserer.

Shared Distance: In collaboration with Julie West.

Response-ability: Choreographer/Dancer: Bill T. Jones.

Associate Director: Arnie Zane. Camera: Tom Bowes. Décor: Keith Haring. Special Thanks: Lar Lubovitch.

Courtesy of The Kitchen Archives.

See Also:

Untitled, by John Sanborn, 1989, 10 min, b&w and color, sound.