Artist-in-Residence
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
We Set Out Early . . . Visibility Was Poor
Residency September 21-26, 1998


The Walker Art Center has an extensive commissioning and presenting history with this celebrated dance company whose past works (including Still/Here) have deeply touched many in the Twin Cities and across the country. The company was in residence in September 1998 and engaged in 16 educational and community programs as well as performing a new work, We Set Out Early . . . Visibility Was Poor at Northrop Auditorium. The company appeared in conjunction with the Walker's exhibition Art Performs Life: Merce Cunningham/Meredith Monk/Bill T. Jones.

The New York Times describes We Set Out Early. . .Visibility Was Poor as "all visual effect, startling in its purity of vision and movement." This full-length work, the company's first since the overwhelmingly successful Still/Here (1995), is a stunningly beautiful exploration of movement. Bill T. Jones writes: " 'Naming things is only the intention to make things.' I must testify to the veracity of this quotation, attributed to the poet Frank O'Hara. The title of my new evening-length work, We Set Out Early . . . Visibility Was Poor, existed long before any movement was invented. It reads like the first line of a short story that promises to tell of a journey, to chronicle some community's adventure, and in some essential ways, it already does, though not in any programmatic or obvious sense."

During the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company residency, Jones and company members will lead numerous public and private community activities, including forums, workshops, lecture-demonstrations, master classes, and post-performance discussions. Jones will participate in a forum on art and race with leaders in the African-American community, and lead workshops and discussions with emerging local artists at Intermedia Arts and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Additionally, the company will conduct classes and lectures with Twin Cities youth, including events at the Minnesota Center for Arts Education and Dunwoody Institute. This artist residency marks the beginning of the company's four-year home-away-from-home commitment to the Twin Cities to build a sustained relationship with community organizations and local audiences.


BIOGRAPHY

Born in 1952, Jones began his dance training at the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY). In 1974, he became cofounder of the American Dance Asylum. Before forming Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (then called Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company), Jones choreographed and performed nationally and internationally as a soloist and with his late partner, Zane. Recently, Jones served as choreographer-in-residence at the Lyon Opera Ballet (1995-1997) and has directed projects for theater, including Derek Walcott's Dream on Monkey Mountain at the Guthrie Theater in 1994.

In addition to a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1994, Jones has received a number of awards throughout his career, including choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) awards, an "Izzy" Award, and the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award. Last Night on Earth -- part memoir, part meditation, and part performance -- was published by Pantheon Books in 1995. An in-depth look at the work of Jones and Zane can be found in Body Against Body: The Dance and Other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane, published by Station Hill Press. With Gretchen Bender, Jones codirected a television adaptation of Still/Here produced with KTCA-TV in St. Paul and Amaya in Paris. It won two awards: the FIPA Palme d'Or Biarritz (1996) and the Grand Prix, Scenes d'Ecrain, Bruxelles (1997).


RELATED EVENTS

TALKING DANCE WITH BILL T. JONES
SEPTEMBER 20, 1998
Bill T. Jones joins author-educator Ann Daly for an informal and inspiring conversation about the power of dance as well as a look back at his 18-year relationship with the Walker.

BOOK-SIGNING WITH BILL T. JONES
THE THRILL AND WONDER OF DANCE
SEPTEMBER 20, 1998
Jones will sign his books, including the new children's book, Dance, immediately following the Talking Dance lecture. With lyrical, simple text and astounding photographs, this vibrant picture book pays homage to the wonder of the body and the pure thrill of Jones' breathtaking art. Written by Jones and Susan Kuklin, with photography by Kuklin. Available in the Walker Art Center Shops. Hardcover: $14.95 ($13.45 Walker members).

WALKER'S BACK TO SCHOOL
SEPTEMBER 24, 1998
An informal talk about the possibilities of art and education by Bill T. Jones as part of the Walker's Back to School program offered to high school and college students.

MASTER CLASS WITH BILL T. JONES
SEPTEMBER 25, 1998
Join internationally renowned choreographer Bill T. Jones and members of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company for a master-level movement and technique workshop. Limited to 25 people.

BEGINNER MOVEMENT CLASS/OPEN REHEARSAL
SEPTEMBER 25, 1998
A special opportunity to join the members of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company on the Northrop stage for a participatory beginner movement class, followed by a chance to watch an open rehearsal of the company's latest work, We Set Out Early . . . Visibility Was Poor.

BOOK-SIGNING WITH BILL T. JONES
THE THRILL AND WONDER OF DANCE
SEPTEMBER 26, 1998

WE SET OUT EARLY . . .VISIBILITY WAS POOR
SEPTEMBER 26, 1998
The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company presents the Twin Cities' premiere of We Set Out Early . . . Visibility Was Poor. This visually stunning journey explores the possibilities and meaning of movement in the modern world and includes lighting by Robert Wierzel, a set by Bjorn G. Amelan, costumes by Liz Prince, and music by Igor Stravinsky, John Cage, and contemporary Latvian composer Peteris Vasks. Discussion with the audience immediately follows. Copresented with Northrop Auditorium as part of the 1998-1999 Discover Series.



THIS RESIDENCE IS MADE POSSIBLE BY SUPPORT FROM THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS.