Photo by Paula Court
The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) presents major premiere performances this fall: on October 14 and 15 at 8 PM, the Boston debut of five Big Dance Theater short works ($25 general admission; $15 ICA members + students); and on November 11 and 12 at 8 PM, and November 13 at 2 PM the return to the ICA of legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones for the U.S. premiere of A Letter to My Nephew ($40 general admission; $30 ICA members + students). Before each show there will be a 20-minute free talk to introduce the work, which will take place in the ICA lobby. All performances will take place in the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater at the ICA, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston. Tickets can be purchased at www.icaboston.org or by calling 617-478-3103.
To celebrate Big Dance Theater’s 25th anniversary, artistic leaders Annie-B Parson—known for her work with David Bowie, David Byrne, and St. Vincent—and Paul Lazar theatrically reimagine the conventions of a repertory program. Inspired by disciplines of the concise—novellas, folk tales, diary entries, pencil drawings, thumbnail sketches—Big Dance performs five distinct short works, each a Boston premiere, that embrace the brief, granular, close-range, anecdotal, and microscopic. The first half of the show will focus on movement language and dance forms, while the second half will be more theater- and narrative-oriented. During intermission, one of the evening’s highlights, attendees will discover Big Dance’s unique blend of “dance theater” on an intimate scale with an onstage anniversary party, complete with hot dogs and beer. The company’s last project shown in Boston was its collaboration with Baryshnikov Productions on Man In a Case, featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov, at ArtsEmerson.
A Letter to My Nephew, Bill T. Jones’s latest work, makes its U.S. premiere in Boston and marks his return to the ICA for the first time since 2014. The work brings together two facets—the social/political and the deeply personal—and is based on the life of Jones’s nephew, Lance T. Briggs, a former dancer and model who was involved with drugs and prostitution before being paralyzed by illness. The emotional A Letter to My Nephew is a street scene or a still from the evening news that superimposes violent street battles in the U.S. and desperate immigrants rushing toward freedom in Europe over the image of a hospital bed untethered from reality. Composer Nick Hallett, baritone Matthew Gamble, and DJ Tony Monkey accompany the accomplished dancers of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company with a delirious mix of pop music, lullabies, house music, and more. Video design by Janet Wong turns the stage into a simulated battleground; through the fog, Jones’s words to his nephew come alive on stage.
First Republic Bank is proud to sponsor the ICA’s 2016–17 Performance Season.