This most compelling image is from a dance work dating from 1989, Bill T. Jones’s “D-Man in the Water,” which was a tour de force group work Jones fashioned in response to the AIDs epidemic. So why does that matter now? We have a new pandemic to worry about! In fact, it matters a lot. Something so real for an older generation has only a vague sense of identification for youth of today. In Bill T. Jones’s recent restaging of this seminal work on a group of young dancers at Loyola Marymount College in West Los Angeles — during the COVID pandemic– was aimed to revisit that shock that hit the dance world so hard, lest it be forgotten. What resulted was unexpected; Henry Louis Gates said that the film “[g]oes to the very heart of the vital role art plays in our society during times of social crisis.” That feels important to see. “Can You Bring It?: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters,” a new dance documentary, was co-directed by one of our great dance cinematographers, Tom Hurwitz, and Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo, a professor of dance at LMU and a former member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. The film is playing at Laemmle Theaters both at the Royal in Santa Monica and Pasadena’s Playhouse Seven.
On Sunday afternoon, July 25, I’ll be moderating a Q & A with Ms. LeBlanc Loo. Please join us for a discussion of this important dance film, which was selected as a “Critic’s Choice,” by the New York Times.
Can You Bring It? Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters | Laemmle Pasadena Playhouse 7 | Sun July 25, 1:10 pm