Bill T. Jones Makes Dances of Chances

‘Story/Time’ Plays with Time and Chance at the Granada

On Friday, January 20, at the Granada Theatre (1214 State St.), renowned choreographer and storyteller Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Company will ask you to take a chance with the art of dance. In Story/Time, Jones takes a cue from composers such as John Cage as he plays with themes of time and fate, creating an unpredictable composition of dance, music, and 70 of his own stories, arranged entirely afresh at every performance by chance procedure.

Reciting one-minute, largely autobiographical stories culled from his family’s traditions, Jones melds the homey with the avant-garde, as his narratives are bound only by interpretive dancers who are unbounded by strict structure or choreography. Jones shares philosophies with mid-century modernists like Cage, who used principles of change and I Ching numeration to compose his works, perhaps most memorably in the piece “Indeterminacy,” a work of 91-minute stories interwoven with chance musical scores. Jones’s choreography is also orchestrated by the unknown and the unplanned, with randomized and disparate elements creating compositions that are part poetry, part performance art, as he asks the audience to connect the threads of story with the movements of dance.

The recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Award, Kennedy Center Honors, and two Tonys, Jones will lend insights to his craft at a community dance class on Thursday, January 19, at the SBCC Dance Studio (PE 113). Take a chance, and see where the unknown takes you.

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