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.
“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.