'Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones And D-Man In The Waters' Explores The AIDS Crisis Through Dance
Photo Credit: Kino Lorber
Film

'Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones And D-Man In The Waters' Explores The AIDS Crisis Through Dance

Rosalynde LeBlanc and Tom Hurwitz's dance documentary Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters is now in select and virtual cinemas in New York, Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, Houston and Seattle. The film will expand to Los Angeles, Detroit, San Francisco and Toronto July 23.

The film chronicles the creation of choreographer/dancer/director Bill T. Jones' masterwork, D-Man in the Waters, which was inspired by Jones' emotional state through the AIDS crisis. As the synopsis below states, D-Man in the Waters portrayed Jones' "fear, anger, grief, and hope for salvation that the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company…felt as they were embattled by the AIDS epidemic."

CAN YOU BRING IT: BILL T. JONES AND D-MAN IN THE WATERS brings to life the creative process that culminated in choreographer-dancer-director Bill T. Jones’s tour de force ballet D-Man in the Waters, one of the most important works of art to come out of the AIDS crisis. In 1989, D-Man in the Waters gave physical manifestation to the fear, anger, grief, and hope for salvation that the emerging Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (both partners at the time) felt as they were embattled by the AIDS epidemic. As a group of young dancers in the present re-interpret the work, they deepen their understanding of its power – exploring what is at stake in their own personal lives in order to commit and perform it successfully. Through an extraordinary collage of interviews, archival material, and uniquely powerful cinematography, this lyrical documentary uses the story of this iconic dance to illustrate the power of art and the triumph of the human spirit.

You can see how the dance leads to what Jones called his "hallelujah" moment on stage in the exclusive clip below:

Co-directors LeBlanc and Hurwitz successfully created a film that became the official selection of 2020 DOC NYC Festival--its world premiere. The film has also been named the official selections of 2021's Inside Out Toronto Film Festival and the 2021 Frameline San Francisco LGBTQ Film Festival.

LeBlanc, who also serves as the film's producer, danced with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company from 1993 to 1999 and Mikail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project from 1999 to 2002. She has also carried on Jones' legacy by restaging his work nationally and runs the Jones/Zane Educational Partnership at Loyola Marymount University, where she serves as one of the dance department's associate professors. Hurwitz is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers and has won two Emmys among other awards for his work.