The packed house at last night's Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company performance as part of The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago's 40th anniversary season was buzzing with quiet anticipation as the doors closed. Sitting in the audience, chatting with a friend, I started to wonder if I was really the right person to be writing a review for this show. My biased memories of working as a "guest artist" with the company while I was a student at The Dance Center were clouding my views from being neutral. I remember being so shy as I de-robed to perform Continuous Replay with the company back last time they came to Chicago. I felt so exposed, so vulnerable, so...naked.
Am I really the right person to be writing a review for this company?
I began to read the program and must admit that I was less than excited to see that this show would be based in a chance-procedure style. Mr. Jones explains in his address, in the program for the show that he is inspired heavily by John Cage and Merce Cunningham for Story/Time, and unfortunately, I thought to myself, "Ok...fine...I'll sit through another one of these".
I was so very wrong to be jaded by the ol' Cunningham method...
When Mr. Jones entered the space, a polite applause greeted him as he opened his mouth to speak. His booming voice took me right back to rehearsals with him, the way he speaks at a soft level but somehow, his voice seems to yell, straight through to your insides.
I felt such a personal connection to the memories I was having: taking class with the company, warming up with them, sharing a dressing room. The time I had performed with them was such a pivitol time in my education. It was a time when everything around me was awe-inspiring, everything was exciting. Bill T. Jones and his company were the icing on the cake.
Anyway...onward, to the as-unbiased-as-possible review...