Back to the vault | Performing Arts Sidebar | Chicago Reader

Back to the vault 

BIll T. Jones takes up some old pieces for "Body Against Body"

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

It must've been a trip for Bill T. Jones to put together "Body Against Body," his collection of five early pieces divided between two programs. Of the four duets here, three—an unofficial trilogy—were created by Jones with his partner, Arnie Zane, who died in 1988. And Jones based the one group piece, Continuous Replay (1991), on a 1977 Zane solo (performed on both programs, Continuous Replay includes full nudity).

Perhaps best known now for the crowd-pleasing Broadway hit Fela!, Jones took formally rigorous paths in these stark works, achieving obscure yet rewarding results. The trilogy's first duet, Monkey Run Road (1979, program A), celebrates the dancers' matter-of-fact but warm—even charged—camaraderie. They enter, workmanlike, pushing a wheeled wooden box with an opening at the top, suggesting a little house resting on its rear wall. A counterpoint to Monkey Run Road, Blauvelt Mountain (1980, program B) takes the form of a strenuous game; camaraderie isn't the subject but a paradoxical result of the dancers' competition. Valley Cottage (1980, program A) completes the trilogy. Jones's Duet x 2 (1982) is danced on program B.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Laura Molzahn

Popular Stories