Though choreographer Bill T. Jones is not onstage, his sense and sensibility are all over “Serenade/The Proposition,” currently at the Joyce.
A deep-voiced actor, Jamyl Dobson, articulates the recollections of Jones himself, interwoven with excerpts from 19th-century speeches and essays; the haunting lyrics to the Battle Hymn of the Republic recorded by the dancers; and the voices of contemporary Americans. The live music sets familiar lyrics to new and often discordant tunes. The 10 dancers are solemn and celebratory.
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“Serenade” speaks to all our senses, at once a memorial to President Lincoln, a meditation on the Civil War, and a memoir of Jones’ childhood a century later in a family of migrant workers.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co.
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave.