Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bill Moyers Journal: Bill T. Jones "FONDLY DO WE HOPE...FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY"

Bill Moyers Journal

At the close of Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial year, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL takes a unique look at our nation's 16th President — through the eyes of critically acclaimed, veteran dance artist Bill T. Jones. In a groundbreaking work of choreography called FONDLY DO WE HOPE...FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY, Jones reimagines a young Lincoln in his formative years through dance. Bill Moyers speaks with Jones about his creative process, his insights into Lincoln, and how dance can give us fresh perspective on America's most-studied president.

"This piece, ultimately, is not a biopic [...] It is supposed to be, 'How can we use Lincoln and his time as a mirror through which we look darkly at ourselves?'" says Jones.

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance company has launched a video-packed Web site to document the creative process underlying FONDLY DO WE HOPE...FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY. There you will find video of the work in progress and a diary of the development of the piece.

The upcoming AMERICAN MASTERS documentary A GOOD MAN also chronicles the award-winning and influential Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company as they work on "FONDLY DO WE HOPE...FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY." The film follows Jones and his Company as they create movement and gesture stirring complicated emotions about Lincoln's legacy in contemporary life while asking: What does Lincoln signify in terms of race relations, civil rights, freedom and equality, and these "United States"? Jones lets the camera inside to witness his creative process as he grapples with the contradictions created by an African-American modern dancer creating a definitive work on Lincoln.

To Watch the Episode and Access More Resources

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