We began with the instinct to avoid duplication. Clearly there was
no need to create a virtual double of the live performer, for the
physical presence of Bill T. Jones on stage speaks powerfully for
Instead we would evoke a presence just the opposite of his:
a silent child, who watches and explores and teeters overhead.
introduced into the collaboration, the idea of this child guided
Bill in his choice of the two stories he tells. And the nature
of these stories led us in turn to evoke another figure as well,
not the agile dancer we see on stage, but a slower-moving cumbersome
figure who remembers, who photographs, and who does hard labor.
strict structure of Bill’s dance, with its clockwise repetition
of successive poses, inspired us to create a parallel (but not
identical) form. It too runs through a set order, but with 7 rather
elements. These elements are what we call “stations” rather
than poses, from which they differ in two ways: they unfold over
time rather than freezing into place; and they repeat only their
themes, not their pictures. Thus TABLE first materializes as
a desk at which the man sits to write, but returns as a bed on
boy lays himself down to rest.
Bill T. Jones weaves his way through
the rigid choreographic structure he has imposed on himself,
finding room to move and
in between the fixed poses he has to hit. The artificial intelligence
running our projections must find a way to match that flexibility.
And so it peers out at the stage through the infrared cameras
trained on the dancer, looking for times and for places in the
it to witness, to reframe, or to interpose.
We project scenes
that find no exact equivalence in Bill’s
stories. He has no tightrope walker, no boy pushing through a
hinged labyrinth, no man shouldering a ladder. But he does have boys
precariously on the edge, and souls lost in fear and perplexity,
and men bearing the heaviest of burdens. His protagonists and
their situations intersect and interact with ours ambiguously, leading
you to draw multiple, uncertain, and unnerving connections between