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

Black Public Media and World Channel

Choreographer Bill T. Jones created one of his seminal works in the face of profound personal tragedy: “D-Man in the Waters,” which premiered in 1989, followed the death of Jones’s collaborator and partner, Arnie Zane, and another company member, Demian Acquavella, both of AIDS. The complex, radiant dance captures the grief of the epidemic, which devastated LGBTQ communities, including Jones’s. But just as “D-Man in the Waters” was, as one dancer describes it, “a healing cathartic ritual,” Can You Bring It is far from a solemn elegy. The documentary captures the enduring poignancy of the dance—and what it means for a new generation to carry it forward. For its vivid testament to the healing power of the arts, and its tenacious celebration of collective survival, we award Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters a Peabody.


Directors: Rosalynde LeBlanc, Tom Hurwitz. Presented by Black Public Media and WORLD: as part of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, Season 16. AfroPoP Executive Producers: Leslie Fields-Cruz (Black Public Media) and Chris Hastings (WORLD). AfroPoP Producer: Denise Greene. Distributor: American Public Television.