Bill T. Jones

30 Nov 2016


Bill T. Jones. Photo by Stephanie Berger.

Bill T. Jones is a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer. Thirty years ago, he co-founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, now recognized as one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the dance theater world. In early 2013, the Company presented Body Against Body, a re-performance of works from the early 1980s, at Philadelphia's Painted Bride Art Center with funding from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Jones's major honors range from a 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award to Kennedy Center Honors in 2010. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009 and named an "Irreplaceable Dance Treasure" by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. He earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening, as well as a 2010 Tony for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed FELA!, a musical co-conceived, co-written, directed and choreographed by Jones.

Jones is also the executive artistic director of New York Live Arts, a theater and studio space designed as "a destination for innovative movement-based artistry offering audiences access to art and artists notable for their conceptual rigor, formal experimentation and active engagement with the social, political and cultural currents of our times." Founded in Chelsea in 2011 through a merger of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop, New York Live Arts offers public programs and supports artists' continuing professional development.

In March 2013, Jones engaged in a conversation with fellow choreographer Susan Rethorst, moderated by Lois Welk, director of Dance/USA Philadelphia, and organized and produced by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. The two dancer-choreographers, who are the same age, discussed their distinct practices and the evolution of the field.