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February 12, 2010

The Expressive Power of Dance

(Photo by Robin Holland)

This week on THE JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with renowned choreographer and dance artist Bill T. Jones about his art form and his recent work about the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Moyers asked Jones a question that might be asked about more than just the late President:

"Abraham Lincoln may be the most scrutinized figure in American history. What can a dance tell us that a thousand, five thousand, ten thousand, fifteen thousand books haven't done?"

What do you think?

  • What can dance express that other art forms cannot?

  • Do you think other art forms have unique expressive power? Explain.

  • How has art helped you see topics differently?

  • December 4, 2009

    Art & Healing

    (Photo by Robin Holland)

    In this week’s JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with film director Oliver Stone about how his experience fighting in Vietnam has informed his work -- including his famous Vietnam trilogy in PLATOON, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, and HEAVEN & EARTH -- and influenced his worldview. Stone, the recipient of a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, described how filmmaking helped him work out his feelings and move on to the next phase of his life.

    “When you first see combat, it's like pro-football. It goes much faster than you think and more awkwardly than you think, and it's not particularly grand or anything. You try to save your life, and you see death, and you get used to it, and after a few engagements you get better at it... You crystallize the fear. You have to lose the fear. You have to get past it. Because otherwise you're gonna freeze up... You get angry and that's not a good emotion, either. But you get awfully pissed off... When I came back from Vietnam, I was an angry young man and had violent thoughts, and I went through a period of adjustment. I was very lucky in the sense that I went to NYU Film School, and I got a chance to make films. And that was a release, an artistic expression, and I did three Vietnam movies. So, I think over the course of those three movies, I learned a lot more. And I worked out some of my deepest feelings that I didn't even recognize at the time.”

    What do you think?

  • Has artistic expression helped you work out issues in your life? Explain.

  • Is art a viable healing strategy? Why or why not?

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