Bill T. Jones Arnie Zane Dance Company: “Ravel: Landscape or Portrait

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Michael Popkin reviews Bill T. Jones Arnie Zane Dance Company in “Ravel: Landscape or Portrait?,” and “Story/” for danceviewtimes.

Within these worlds, Jones’ dancers - barefoot and dressed in casual garb with stripes and bluish tones – first linked hands and moved about in groups. But smaller ensembles emerged. Impulses that started within the group pushed smaller contingents of dancers at the edge into motion, provoking duets or lifts. The dancers respected the rope boundaries at the sides of the stage and pulled up against them as they would a mirrored wall. This fostered the illusion of a studio. Three dancers would be on one side of the boundary performing; three beyond the ropes looking back at them as if they were a mirror image. But the image was askew; those beyond the boundary varied the pose of those inside just a little. Somehow, they should have matched but they didn’t. Just as Ravel distorted classical harmony and form by introducing something modern and off-key, Jones upset your visual perception. It introduced the uncanny and surreal.

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