Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company | Dance | Chicago Reader
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Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company 

When: Every other day 2009
A work commemorating the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth? Commissioned by the Ravinia Festival to be performed before thousands? Whew, no pressure there. Speaking in a YouTube excerpt from the Kartemquin Films documentary about his new Fondly Do We Hope . . . Fervently Do We Pray, African-American choreographer Bill T. Jones reflects on his complex feelings about Lincoln by seeing himself at two different ages: as a five-year-old who idolized the Great Emancipator and as the 57-year-old "modern ironist" he considers himself now. Indeed, Jones has increasingly found room for ambiguity in his work. His recent dance-theater pieces have avoided inflaming the culture wars, approaching subjects like the problem of violence in a "mediatized" age, treated in the 2006 Chapel/Chapter, without casting blame. Regarding the Ravinia piece, Jones says he hopes to find the secret of Lincoln in his second inaugural address, which also gives the dance its title. That's the one where Lincoln expressed his desire to reunite a divided nation "with malice toward none, with charity for all," urging, "let us strive on to finish the work we are in."
— Laura Molzahn


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