Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's Chapel/Chapter is a haunting, deeply intimate work that blends media hype, song, and storytelling with a zeal that's rare among 70-minute dance pieces. Like other modern dance performances, Chapel/Chapter mixes the topical with the abstract, and also draws from master choreographer Jones' prolific background in multimedia pieces. An ensemble of contemporary musicians, ranging from experimental vocalist Lipbone Redding to chanteuse Alicia Hall Moran to fusion-loving musical director Daniel Bernard Roumain, sets the backdrop for the show's gorgeously dissonant and endlessly protean inventions. The gist of the performance? Our lives are informed by the court of public opinion in all its grisly, yarn-spinning manifestations. The dancers and musicians offer their own surreal interpretations of news items, court transcripts, and media myths. Singers alternately trill and read aloud from depositions of criminal cases, while the dancers enact harrowing scenes on Bjorn Amelan's hopscotch set. Despite our desensitization to the depiction of violence in everyday life, in the retelling of both personal and public stories, Jones' piece has a soothing confessional quality that dissects trauma without exploiting it.
Fri., Oct. 19, 8 p.m., 2007