What occurs to a murals when time displaces it from its authentic context, and from the impetus that impressed it? That’s a query that may elicit dry theories. But in “Can You Bring It?: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters,” a brand new documentary directed by Tom Hurwitz and Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo, the reply is passionate and shifting.
Jones is the co-founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, a contemporary dance troupe. It grew out of the performing duo that Jones fashioned along with his companion Zane, who wasn’t a dancer after they met in the early 1970s.
Zane died of AIDS-related lymphoma in 1988. The film offers a shifting précis of their work-life collaboration earlier than addressing the selections Jones made in the aftermath of Zane’s demise. One of these selections took the type of the piece “D-Man in the Waters.”
The dance was impressed by a sequence of group improvisations. It was a mirrored image of the troupe’s experiences, its struggles and its losses. As a bit of choreography, it’s since been carried out by dozens of collegiate and skilled corporations. “Can you bring it?” is what Jones asks a gaggle of dancers at Loyola Marymount College in 2016 as they put together the piece beneath the course of Loo, a former Jones/Zane firm member.
These college students have little information of AIDS, so Jones and Loo ask them to seek out factors of battle in their lives, as a part of a pupil neighborhood and in any other case. The intercutting between classic footage of the Jones/Zane firm and the pupil manufacturing, in addition to footage from one other modern manufacturing of the piece — shot with an onstage intimacy that remembers the in-the-ring segments of Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” — make for an unusually vigorous documentary expertise.
Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes. In theaters.