Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company to perform "Blind Date" at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company to perform "Blind Date" at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, an ensemble noted for its award-winning choreography and innovative pairing, comes to Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Saturday. Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. Part of the Quick Center's Dance America series, the program features a post-performance Art to Heart Q&A with the company.

Founded as a multicultural dance troupe in 1982, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company is the product of an 11-year collaboration between its two founders. Emerging on the international scene with the world premiere of "Intuitive Momentum," featuring legendary drummer Max Roach, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the 11-member company has performed in more than 130 American cities and 30 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Greece and South Africa. Company members taught and performed across Asia and the company dances for about 100,000 audience members annually.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company has often been described as a fusion of dance and theater. The repertoire is highly diverse in subject matter, visual imagery and duration of dance, with pieces ranging from 15 minutes to evening-long works of two hours or more. Some of its most celebrated creations include the longer "Last Supper and Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land," "Still/Here," and Jones' solo production, "The Breathing Show."

The company has won New York Dance and Performance Awards, or "Bessies," and has been nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and Best New Dance Production.

The Quick Center program includes the exciting, full-company piece "Blind Date," which was inspired by the very current issues of war, patriotism, national identity, individual freedom, religion and morality. Jones says he was, as always, inspired by the world around him.

"I started working on this piece at a time when I was really distressed by what I consider to be the eroding of the basic Enlightenment values - deism, tolerance and progress - those great and noble ideas that made modern society," he says in a video explaining the piece. "These ideas are at the basis of our notion of what it means to be a free person."

The piece is a dance-theater collage, a kind of documentary that incorporates Chinese poetry, the Mexican national anthem, video images and a set filled with geometric abstractions and surreal images. The music is equally eclectic, including a J.S. Bach sonata, Tuareg throat-singing and an 18 th -century Irish jig.

Jones, a 1994 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, began his dance training at the State University of New York at Binghamton and became co-founder of the American Dance Asylum in 1973. Before forming the company in 1982, he choreographed and performed internationally as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane. He has been commissioned to create dances for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Axis Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berkshire Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet and Diversions Dance Company, among others.

The Dance Heritage Coalition named Jones one of America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures.

Tickets are $40, $35 and $30. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit

Posted On: 01-05-2006 10:01 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 135