Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company

Bill T. Jones–the bad boy of modern dance, the angry young man who exhibited dozens of Chicagoans nude onstage during Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land in 1992, the social activist who got New Yorker dance critic Arlene Croce on her high horse with Still/Here in 1994–has returned to his roots. We Set Out Early…Visibility Was Poor is a spare, abstract evening-length piece with no easily discernible subject but with a great deal of evocative cutting-edge movement. Opening with the company’s ten dancers in a clear picture of community, it takes them on a mysterious journey that involves motifs from the military, classroom ballet, folk dance, and contemporary club dancing. Marked by images of separation and dubious reunion, of social isolation and social renewal, We Set Out Early relies heavily on its carefully chosen music: Igor Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat, three pieces by John Cage, and a contemporary symphony, Stimmen, by Latvian composer Peteris Vasks. It’s not easy music, and it’s not an easy dance. But the choreography is as inventive as it gets, and the dancing is superb, finely articulated yet superhumanly buoyant. Wednesday and Thursday, April 9, at 8 at the Arie Crown Theatre, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr.; $25-$35. (Postshow discussion with Jones Wednesday; free lecture-discussion by Jones Thursday at 12:15 in the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington.) Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 773-722-5463 for information, including group rates. –Laura Molzahn

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