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New Television; New Television, Episode 312; 21

Part of New Television Workshop.

In "21," Bill T. Jones performs a monologue and solo dance in a large dance studio with windows looking out onto the street. He tells us at the onset that some of his story will be fictitious. Two tales of sons leaving home are interwoven. In the first, Jones' oldest brother, "Boot," becomes a migrant worker. In the second, Jones himself leaves a liberal arts college to go to Amsterdam. Elements of these stories are repeated and reordered and they take on new meanings as a result. We are never quite sure what is autobiographical and what is fictional, although the story of Boot is originally placed in 1946, at which point Jones was not yet born. Interspersed with this narrative are movement phrases executed by Jones. At times, he counts the movements aloud. Musical pieces accompanying the work are "On the Future of Aviation" by Jerry Goodman, "Alanna" by Etosha, and "Weightless" by Brian Eno. Jones' partner, Arnie Zane. This short excerpt features the tale of "Boot," the oldest brother of Bill T. Jones, who becomes a migrant worker. Approximate date: 1987

License Clip
New Television
New Television, Episode 312
Program Number




Series Description

"New Television" began as a local pilot production of WNET (New York) in 1986. In 1987, WGBH signed on as co-producer, and the shows were aired in Boston and New York. In 1988 and 1989, KCET (Los Angeles) and WETA (D.C.) became producers in association. In 1991, PBS picked up "New Television," and it was broadcast nationally. The following year, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, replaced WNET, WETA, and KCET as co-producer with WGBH. In 1993, WGBH ceased to be a co-producer for the series, and the "home base" moved to Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) in Hartford, CT.

"New Television" commissioned, produced, and acquired programming. In its early years, "New Television" broadcast works commissioned by The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund. Increasingly, experimental films as well as video works were broadcast as a part of this series. Many of the later episodes of "New Television" contain works that play with and deconstruct the documentary genre. Series release date: 1986

Program Description

Includes Tom Bowes’ “21” and David Lyons’ “Anniversary Special.”

Asset Type


Media Type


Bowes, Tom
Modern dance
Jones, Bill T.
Film and Television
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “New Television; New Television, Episode 312; 21,” GBH Archives, accessed June 25, 2024,
MLA: “New Television; New Television, Episode 312; 21.” GBH Archives. Web. June 25, 2024. <>.
APA: New Television; New Television, Episode 312; 21. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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