UNIVERSITY PARK — The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zanes Society will explore the meaning of “We are” and the nature of community in experimental dance work “What problem?” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 11 at the Eisenhower Auditorium.
In a nod to sociologist, equal rights activist and author WEB Du Bois, “What problem?” deconstructs what Du Bois called “the color line problem” and details “otherness” expanding the term to include sexual politics, gender identity, class struggle and immigration.
Tickets are $46 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student, and $36 for someone 18 and under and are available online at cpa.psu.edu. Tickets are also available by phone at 814-863-0255 or in person at the Eisenhower Auditorium from noon to 4 p.m. weekdays. A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board makes Penn State Student Awards possible.
Visit the Center for the Performing Arts online at https://cpa.psu.edu/events/billtjones for more information.
The presentation is part of “The Reflection Project” a center initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
“Just as our project examines familiar singing”We are,” “What problem?“look who is targeted and included when we as a nation say ‘we'” said Amy Dupain Vashaw, director of audience development and programs at the center.
“What problem?” causes the tension between belonging to a community and the sense of isolation that many feel in these divisive political times. Jones designed this highly personal work in pursuit of the elusive “we,” including references to text by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream” speech and that of Herman Melville “Moby-Dick.”
“It’s about living in a community and learning to see each other, to listen to each other and to take care of each other. said a writer for CriticalDance.org of the work’s 2020 premiere.
In addition, “What problem?” emphasizes the importance of personal connections in a section of the work that will incorporate State College area alumni, artists and activists.
After the performance, community participants and company artists will discuss the work with interested audience members.
Jones is an artist, director, and author best known for winning Tony Awards for Broadway choreography. “Fela! » and “Spring Awakening”. Last April, Jones was featured as a guest artist on the center’s online discussion series “Meeting the Moment with Michael Mwenso.”
Watch a preview of “What problem?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–TpOoP–YvWw.
This Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company appearance is part of the Center for the Performing Arts Fierce Urgency Festival, with the theme this season “Hope-Resist-Heal.” Visit https://cpa.psu.edu/fierceurgency for more information.
The Performing Arts Center has the health and safety of our patrons in mind. Penn State requires masks to be worn in all University buildings and underscores its commitment to cleaning and ventilating its spaces. In addition, the center will strive to ensure the safety of its customers by positioning contactless ticketing kiosks and hand sanitizing stations at all sites. Visit https://cpa.psu.edu/covidprecautions for more information on the center’s safety protocols.
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