Bill T. Jones choreography

By : Lauren Winstead

Bill T jones studied at State University of New York at Binghamton because he was interested in choreography and movement. He learned classical ballet and modern technique within his time at Binghamton, along with choreography creativeness, as he went through his college years. Jones met his partner, Arnie Zane, and began the American Dance Asylum with Lois Welk in 1974. They created the company to choreograph through the influence of civil rights, identity politics, counterculture movement, and Avant guardism.

Bills movement was a lot of fall and recovery. He also had many acrobatic movements and weight sharing movements while also creating shapes. His choreography was rarely spent on the ground and it was based mostly on a story. Every dance he choreography told a story relating to a social problem of the day, civil rights, or culture combining. His style was avant guard and a new take on modern.

He used typically classical music because he felt the performance is “about the dance you see with your eyes not the song you hear in your ears”

Jones was, physically a tall and powerful dancer, and was an outstanding soloist who often mixed video, text, and autobiographical material with his choreography, as he did in "Blauvelt Mountain" (1980) and "Valley Cottage" (1981). Jones and Zane gained recognition as "new wave", or "post modern", choreographers whose large-scale, abstract collaborations, such as "Secret Pastures, Freedom of Information," and "Social Intercourse," were visually and spatially altered by contemporary sets, costumes, and body paintings.In 1983, Jones was commissioned to create the fast-paced, all-male "Fever Swamp" for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, followed by "How to Walk an Elephant," in 1985. After Zane's death in 1988 from AIDS, Jones continued to choreograph and perform. His works expanded to the field of opera and musical theater. He choreographed British composer Sir Michael Tippett's "New Year" (1990), choreographed and directed Leroy Jenkins' "Mother of Three Sons" (1991) at the New York City Opera, and directed Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars" in 1992. Jones' work has been commissioned by companies throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 1986 Jones and Zane received a Bessie Award, and in 1991 Jones was recognized as an "innovative master" with the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award. In June of 1994, Jones was awarded a MacArthur fellowship.

Words from:Julinda Lewis-Ferguson

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