Lied Center for Performing Arts featured the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company during a three-day artist residency that included a public town hall, rehearsals, and a dance master class.
The event culminated with a Feb. 27 main stage performance featuring 51 community members. The majority of the dancers were University of Nebraska–Lincoln students and the choir was composed of members of student a cappella groups, Boots & Cats and Bathtub Dogs. The choir was led by choral conducting graduate student Daniel Ikpeama.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity,” Ikpeama said. “Being able to do a collaborative work with visual and moving art in addition to the music is just such a surreal, amazing experience.”
Jones leads one of the world’s iconic modern dance companies with styles influenced by improvisation, African and Afro-Caribbean dance, and modern techniques. In the provocative work titled “What Problem? — A Meditation on Community Building in a Confusing Era,” Jones invited the public into his creative process, exploring the tension between belonging to a community and feelings of isolation.
“What Problem” is part of Lied’s MOSAIC Series which seeks to advance education and awareness around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
“It’s thrilling to combine New York City artists with Nebraska artists to put on a program that will surely be inspirational as well as to be thought provoking and make us reflect and think about our community,” said Bill Stephan, executive director of the Lied Center.