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 Post subject: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 1999 11:46 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
This was a one night performance by Mr Jones of his solo show, looking back over his life and his dance. We last saw Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane & Company in London 2 years ago performing 'We set out early....visibility was poor.' My memory of the work was of superb dancers of a variety of shapes and sizes and some intriguing choreography. <P>This show is a combination of dance, monologue, film and one or two short happenings. It starts quite slowly with Jones performing to Schubert songs, but perks up considerably when he sings 'The Old Grey Goose is Dead', while dancing at the same time. Jones shows us how he gets some of his found vocabulary - one pose is a Greek statue, another a Pittsburgh Steelers play etc. But he also throws in some elegant attitudes and entrechats. Given that he was winning awards as long ago as 1979, he remains an accomplished dancer in great condition. <P>Towards the end of the show and for an encore, Jones dances to two songs by Blossom Dearie. The feathery, fluent style of Ms Dearie provides a fine framework for Jones' improvisations and I enjoyed this part greatly. <P>The autobiographical part of the show works very well and is a series of snapshots from his life, the lives of members of his family and of the love of his life Arnie Zane. It is delicately done and in a few quick brush strokes, Jones gives us insights into his experience and the drivers in his life. Given the depth of his love for Arnie Zane, it is an artistic achievement of no small magnitude that the show is never sentimental and does not dwell on this relationship. My companion was almost in tears when she realised that the beautiful metal sculpture that we see at the start and end of the show was a representaion of the magnolia tree around which Zane's ashes were scatterred.<P>To give himself a breather, we see two filmed interludes. Firstly an amazing computer graphics display, 'Ghostcatching' with a stylised white outline of Jones against a black background. Secondly some long set-ups of Jones' beloved garden, where the ashes of his lover are scatterred. Throughout, the set designs are simple, light and gorgeous. <P>The show tries to give us some sense of what it is like to be the charming, intelligent and gifted Mr Jones and it achieves this successfully and with much elegance. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited April 30, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 1999 11:59 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
I have never seen Bill T Jones perform. I have always wondered what the difference is between a Bill T Jones performance and a Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane & Company performance. Does the former consist only of solo works?<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 1999 8:21 am 
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If the current billing is anything to go on then if just his name is used then it is basically solos. Although such solo performances are much rarer than the Company ones.<P>From memory, his Company is about 12 or so, but the performances sometimes include the odd solo by Mr Jones.<P>I am very keen to hear the views of anyone who has seen either incarnation of Bill T,in the US or elsewhere for that matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 1999 5:27 pm 
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Unfortunately, I have not seen any of the incarnations of the company but hope to do so soon. "Bill T Jones" will perform in Berkeley in January and "Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane" will perform in San Francisco in April.


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 1999 2:48 pm 
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Stuart:<BR>Yes Bill T. is an interesting choreographer. I saw a work he did for Alvin Ailey Co. called "Fever Swamp". It was a highly energetic, athletic work for 5-6 men. Very virtuosic and playful! His work has been controversial through the years, as he tackles hot topics such as slavery ("The Promised Land", i think it was called), AIDS ("Last Night on Earth"), etc. HIs partner Arnie Zane died several years ago of AIDS; they had a fruitful collboration,which was a mixture of contact improvisation, multi-media (I believe Arnie Zane was also a photographer)and traditional modern dance styles/forms.I saw him (Bill T)in ballet class many years ago in NY-he was just stunning to watch-he looks physically like a work of art that has come to life-perfect proportions for dance. For your refence, I believe there is a book about/by Bill T. called "Last Night On Earth"-check it out.<P>Dina


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 1999 6:02 am 
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Trina, many thanks for the book reference. You'll be pleased to know that at 47 he looks as beautiful as ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2000 6:23 am 
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A very interesting extract from the diary of Bill T Jones on his 'The Breathing Show'. There is a section on the Sadlers Wells perfrmance, where the work first seems to have come together as he hoped. He loved the London audience and disliked the critics, who he feels always give him a hard time here.<BR> <BR>This link will last until 20th February - it is now inactive.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/artleisure/jones-dance-diary.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/artleisure/jones-dance-diary.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited April 30, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2000 11:30 am 
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Yes, Bill T was beautiful to watch. His performance at Berkeley was so incredibly moving. And he does it all with subtle suggestions; nostagic remembrances, fragments of poems taken into multiple contexts... I felt so priveleged to have seen him. I would have gone again if he had done a second show.


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2000 2:27 pm 
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stuart-what was the audience reaction to Bill T.-"The Breathing Show". IN the NY times article/journal, Bill T. mentioned what he characterized as a lukewarm (I'm paraphrasing)audience and critical response in London. But then he said something like "well lukewarm is pretty good for London" or something to that effect. What did the mean by that. ARe London audiences reserved?


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2000 3:48 pm 
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Stuart-correction to my earlier message-I re-read the Bill T. article. Actually, Bill T. said that the audience response was very good in London at Sadlers wells; only the critical reviews he characterized as being "lukewarm". Any insight as to that issue, Stuart. ie. critical response to Bill T's work in England?


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2000 12:49 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Trina, if you click on the URL below, it will take you to the Advanced search on the ballet.co reviews database. Under Company type in 'Jones'. You will get several reviews of 'The Breathing Show' and also the last show seen in London from his Company.<P>Overall, my impression is that the London critics love the dancing of his Company and the man himself. There are greater question marks about his choreography. See what you think. <P> <A HREF="http://www.ballet.co.uk/cgi/reviews_database_search/db_search.cgi?return_to_frontpage=y" TARGET=_blank>http://www.ballet.co.uk/cgi/reviews_database_search/db_search.cgi?return_to_frontpage=y </A> <P>In general terms its worth saying that this database and the analogous one for Interviews and News is one of the most powerful tools for ballet and dance fans.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-12-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Bill T Jones 'The Breathing Show', Sadler's Wells, Lo
PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2000 2:06 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Hedy Weiss enjoys Bill T Jones' 'The Breathing Show' in Chicago: <BR> <A HREF="http://www.suntimes.com/output/show/jones24.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suntimes.com/output/show/jones24.html</A>


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