Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters

Aug 12 to Aug 22, 2021


Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters brings to life the creative process that culminated in choreographer-dancer-director Bill T. Jones’s ballet D-Man in the Waters. The film traces the history and legacy of one of the most important works to come out of the AIDS epidemic. D-Man gave physical manifestation to the grief and hope of the times. After reconstructing the original choreography, a group of young dancers learn about the forgotten history and deepen their understanding of the power of art to bring about change.

This politically and emotionally charged work uniquely illustrates themes of sacrifice, loss, and love. A mixture of archival material and firsthand accounts, the lyrical documentary illustrates the spirit of community and survival. In the early 80’s, the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Company was at the forefront of the creative energy catalyzed by the gay liberation movement. At its height, AIDS was ravaging through Queer communities, taking some our youngest and brightest. In response, artists gave birth to expressions that connect and document, mobilizing through dance and keeping the memory of their loved ones alive. Traversing
the struggles of countless and the deterioration of one dancer, the titular Demain “D-Man” Acquavella, the light-hearted ballet became a penetrating reflection of the gravity of the epidemic and the many communities it impacted.