Jones met Arnie Zane in 1971, during his first year of college in Binghamton. A first generation Jewish-Italian, Zane studied theatre and art history. From the beginning, their partnership was one based on shared interests and mutual support, but photography remained Zane’s exclusive sphere of expertise with Jones featured as one of the eminent subjects. The feverish photographic production of the early 1970s would eventually fade as their interest and involvement in the dance world grew.
The choice of black and white, in his early portraits taken in Amsterdam and San Francisco, treated with sepia toning, embraced the subjects within an aura of theatricality. Zane’s overwhelming attention to detail would reveal eruptions of humorous micro-stories, or evoke a sense of epic. Each singular aesthetic decision in Zane’s photographs reveals how the photographer invites both the subject and the viewer to make a move. Often printed in small postcard formats, for instance, photos solicited the viewer to get physically closer, creating an intimate experience.
Zane’s lens never functioned as a distant gaze. His later study on torsos no longer captured the athletic lifeguards in San Francisco, or the statuesque beauty of Jones, instead Pearl Pease, an elderly woman, whom they befriended in Binghamton, became the leading character, appearing in their choreographic works with the American Dance Asylum as well.
As Zane embraced abstraction through close-ups of the torso, magnifying skin and veins, his photographs became maps of the soul, revealing fragments of human vulnerability. Traces of the photographic elements --the use of sequences in an accumulation of gestures and expressions, the sudden stop in precarious balances, the construction of tableaux vivant --eventually bled into their choreographic work.