Be Here Now: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company @ SPAC, 7/28/10

It’s looking like the Summer of Bill T. Jones, and he’s about to cap it off on Wednesday evening with a performance of his most ambitious work at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Jones’ summer began in earnest last month at the Tony Awards, where he won the Best Choreography award for “Fela!,” the musical based on the life and music of legendary Nigerian Afrobeat musician and activist Fela Kuti. It was Jones’ second Tony and one of three Tonys won by the production, which Jones also directed.

Then earlier this month, the charismatic 58-year-old choreographer brought his most adventurous work, “Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray,” to NYC as the dance centerpiece of the Lincoln Center Festival. The evening-length work that explores the history, legend and legacy of Abraham Lincoln.

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“Jones knows how to dazzle,” wrote Robert Johnson in The Star-Ledger. “The choreography offers ingenious tableaux and ensembles of dancers linked and holding hands, yet there are also enfolding love duets and plenty of gutsy solos filled with whiplash energy and quiet, expressive details.”

Last week, Jones and his ensemble landed at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket for a five-day run of “Serenade/The Proposal,” another work that explores the life and legacy of our 16th president. There’s also an exhibition of Arnie Zane’s photographs on display in the Ted Shawn Theater at Jacob’s Pillow.

At 6:30pm tomorrow (Tuesday), Jones will be conducting a master class at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs. Reservations are required; email

And at 8pm on Wednesday, the curtain goes up on “Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray” at SPAC. Priced at $40, tix are still available, and they include a pre-performance talk at 7:30pm.

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