Body Against Body

Painted Bride Art Center

2012
$100,000

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Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's Body Against Body. Photo by Paul B. Goode.

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Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's Body Against Body. Photo by Paul B. Goode.

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Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's Body Against Body. Photo by Paul B. Goode.

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Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's Body Against Body. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Painted Bride Art Center presented the seminal duets of Bill T. Jones and the late Arnie Zane—challenging, autobiographical works that launched their careers and remain some of the most significant examples of postmodern dance to date. Body Against Body traced the history of these major figures, reflecting on their powerful collaborative vision and chemistry. The duets, which tell the story of the duo's relationship, shed light on the cultural and social issues of the 1980s, when they were first presented. Body Against Body explores issues of gender, race, and politics and remains relevant to contemporary art makers and audiences. The Bride first presented Bill T. Jones' work more than 30 years ago. The program included a restaged Blauvelt Mountain and Monkey Run Road—two duets from an original trilogy, which according to dance critic Elizabeth Zimmer, "retain their brilliance and intensity." A three-channel video installation by the company's associate artistic director Janet Wong, which was also on view at the Painted Bride, juxtaposed footage from the original performance of Blauvelt Mountain with various reconstructions over time, featuring dancers of varying size, gender, and ethnicity. Jones, a Tony Award-winning choreographer, participated in a pre-show discussion with Lois Welk, focused on the cultural contexts behind the works and the importance and challenges of their restaging.