Bill T. Jones
WORLD II (18 Movements to Kurtag) is indeed another world. Revised and pared down from its original, the piece operates on a number of levels conscious and subconscious and invites a variety of interpretations and reactions. But whatever Jones unpacks in this dada-inflected grab bag, it only enhances the cocktail-party theatrics of ritual and release.
An entr'acte solo of focused intensity and expansive eloquence leads directly into the January 12 finale, Black Suzanne, a punchy gymnastics routine of tumbling, canting, and running that devolves into a stylized wrestling match of warriors. As usual, Jones isn't interested in unison steps. Instead, his dancers operate in symbiotic relationship to each other, both inhabiting their own space and readily sharing it. Full of brio and purpose, the two "teams" may be read as a study in clan strife and cooperation.
Closing the January 11 program is D-Man in the Waters (1989, revised 1998), Jones's timeless tribute to the memory of company dancer Demian Acquavella, set to Mendelssohn's buoyant Octet in E-flat Major for Strings, op. 20.
[Originally published in January, 2003.]