The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company is the product of an eleven-year collaboration between Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane, who died in 1988. The company began in 1983 with the premiere of Intuitive Momentum at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which featured legendary jazz drummer Max Roach. Since then, the 10-member company has performed its ever-expanding repertory, now consisting of more than 75 works, in more than 200 American cities and 30 countries.
The company’s work has often been described as a fusion of dance and theater. The repertoire is highly diverse in subject matter, visual imagery and length of each dance, ranging from fifteen minutes to two hours. Some of the company’s most celebrated creations are evening-length works, including Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land (1990); Still/Here (1994); and Mr. Jones’ solo production The Breathing Show (1999). Black Suzanne, a collaboration with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, received its premiere in 2003 at Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa.
The company has received numerous awards, including the New York dance and performance award known as the “Bessie” and a 1999 Laurence Olivier Award. In 2003, The Dance Heritage Coalition named Bill T. Jones one of America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures. In 2009 the company presented the world premiere of Fondly Do We Hope...Fervently Do We Pray, a Ravinia Festival commission about Abraham Lincoln on the occasion of his bicentennial. The making of that work is the subject of a feature-length documentary by Kartemquin Films entitled A Good Man, which was broadcast on PBS American Masters in 2011.