In 1989, after a series of devastating personal and professional losses, legendary dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones turned his grief into what would become one of his greatest artistic achievements: the ballet “D-Man in the Waters.” The process by which Jones and his company crafted the ballet, including the pain that fueled it, take center stage in Rosalynde LeBlanc and Tom Hurwitz’s remarkable documentary, “Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters,” arriving later this summer.
Per the film’s official synopsis, the film “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.”
LeBlanc and Hurwitz’s film boasts “an extraordinary collage of interviews, archival material, and uniquely powerful cinematography” to tell the story of Jones, Zane, their company, and the seminal ballet. At once an essential history lesson about art made during the height of the AIDS crisis, “Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters,” also re-contextualizes Jones in a contemporary setting, as the new dancers attempt to bring their own flair to the ballet.
The film celebrated its world premiere at DOC NYC. Kino Lorber will open it in select theaters and virtual cinemas starting Friday, July 16 at Film Forum in New York and on Friday, July 23 at Laemmle’s Royal in Los Angeles, with a national rollout to follow.
Check out the trailer for “Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters,” available exclusively on IndieWire below.