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Bill T. Jones "FONDLY DO WE HOPE...FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY"
Bill T. Jones, photo by Robin Holland
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February 12, 2010

At the close of Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial year, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL takes a unique look at our nation's 16th President — through the eyes of critically acclaimed, veteran dance artist Bill T. Jones. In a groundbreaking work of choreography called FONDLY DO WE HOPE...FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY, Jones reimagines a young Lincoln in his formative years through dance. Bill Moyers speaks with Jones about his creative process, his insights into Lincoln, and how dance can give us fresh perspective on America's most-studied president.

"This piece, ultimately, is not a biopic [...] It is supposed to be, 'How can we use Lincoln and his time as a mirror through which we look darkly at ourselves?'" says Jones.

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance company has launched a video-packed Web site to document the creative process underlying FONDLY DO WE HOPE...FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY. There you will find video of the work in progress and a diary of the development of the piece.

>Find out about FONDLY DO WE HOPE... FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY upcoming performances here.

AMERICAN MASTERS Preview: A GOOD MAN

The upcoming AMERICAN MASTERS documentary A GOOD MAN also chronicles the award-winning and influential Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company as they work on "FONDLY DO WE HOPE...FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY." The film follows Jones and his Company as they create movement and gesture stirring complicated emotions about Lincoln's legacy in contemporary life while asking: What does Lincoln signify in terms of race relations, civil rights, freedom and equality, and these "United States"? Jones lets the camera inside to witness his creative process as he grapples with the contradictions created by an African-American modern dancer creating a definitive work on Lincoln.

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A GOOD MAN footage courtesy of Kartemquin Films, ITVS, AMERICAN MASTERS, Ravinia Festival and Media Process Group. A GOOD MAN is a Co-production of American Masters, ITVS, Kartemquin Films, and Media Process Group in association with Ravinia Festival.

Related Media:
Medical practitionersThe JOURNAL on History
Explore American history, from the long tradition of dissent to Lincoln's life in pop culture.


Katherine Newman, photo by Robin Holland Historian Eric Foner on "Our Lincoln"
As Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial birthday approaches, Bill Moyers sits down with historian and Lincoln biographer Eric Foner to discuss the legacy and the legend of America's most studied president. (February 6, 2009)

Katherine Newman, photo by Robin HollandMoyers on Lincoln
Bill Moyers reflects on the Lincoln legacy. "I had a history professor at the University of Texas - Robert Cotter - who believed the most remarkable quality of Abraham Lincoln was his empathy for people he didn't personally know. The working man. The soldier in battle. His widow and orphans." (February 6, 2009)

OLOOKING FOR LINCOLN
In this PBS special Historian Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s quest to piece together Abraham Lincoln's complex life takes him from Illinois to Gettysburg to Washington, D.C., and face-to-face with people who live with Lincoln every day relic hunters, re-enactors, and others for whom the study of Lincoln is a passion. The Web site also includes maps of Lincoln sites in the U.S., a Lincoln knowledge quiz, and an interactive timeline.

OAMERICAN EXPERIENCE
The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln" premiered February 9, 2009. You can also view the entire show online.

References and Reading:

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
The Web site for the company features a blog from Bill T. Jones, a touring schedule, and information on the company's repertory.

Also This Week:
BILL T. JONES: "Fondly Do We Hope...Fervently Do We Pray"
At the close of Lincoln's bicentennial year, Bill Moyers Journal takes a unique look at the 16th President. Moyers speaks with critically acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones about his creative process, his insights into Lincoln, and how dance can give us fresh perspective on America's most-studied president.

BILL T. JONES
Find out more about Bill T. Jones and view previous collaborations between Bill Moyers and Bill T. Jones from The Moyers Digial Archive.

>LINCOLN'S LEGEND & LEGACY
Acclaimed actor Sam Waterston and historian Harold Holzer explore Lincoln's legacy and legend in poetry and prose.

>LINCOLN IN LITERATURE
A selection of the entries from THE LINCOLN ANTHOLOGY, additional readings and Lincoln video and Web resources.

>TWO HUNDRED YEARS OF LINCOLN
View a photo essay of America's number one icon.

THE JOURNAL '09 COUNTDOWN
View the top ten viewer favorites from 2009.
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