Bill T Jones
(15 February 1952)
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Bill T Jones born in Florida USA 1954, began his dance training at the State University of New York (SUNY), where he studied classical ballet and modern dance. After living in Amsterdam, Mr. Jones returned to SUNY, where he became co-founder of the American Dance Asylum in 1973. In 1982 he formed the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (then called Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company) with his late partner, Arnie Zane.

A multi talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theatre director and writer, has received major honours ranging from a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award to Kennedy Centre Honours 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. His ventures into Broadway theatre resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the critically acclaimed FELA!, the new musical co-conceived, co-written, directed and choreographed by Jones. He also earned a 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening as well as an Obie Award for the show’s 2006 off-Broadway run. His choreography for the off-Broadway production of The Seven earned him a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award.

In addition to creating more than 140 works for his own company, Mr. Jones has received many commissions to create dances for modern and ballet companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, and Berlin Opera Ballet, among others. In 1995, Mr. Jones directed and performed in a collaborative work with Toni Morrison and Max Roach, Degga, at Alice Tully Hall, commissioned by Lincoln Centre’s Serious Fun Festival. His collaboration with Jessye Norman, How! Do! We! Do!, premiered at New York’s City Centre in 1999.His work in dance has been recognized with the 2010 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; and the 1993 Dance Magazine Award. His additional awards include the Harlem Renaissance Award in 2005; the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award in 1991; multiple New York Dance and Performance Bessie Awards for his works The Table Project (2001), The Breathing Show (2001), D-Man in the Waters (1989) and the Company’s groundbreaking season at the Joyce Theatre (1986). In 1980, 1981 and 1982, Mr. Jones was the recipient of Choreographic Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1979 he was granted the Creative Artists Public Service Award in Choreography. He has received honorary doctorates from Yale University, Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, Columbia College, Skidmore College, the Juilliard School, Swarthmore College and the State University of New York at Binghamton Distinguished Alumni Award, where he began his dance training.

Jones was profiled was featured in HBO’s documentary series Masterclass, which follows notable artists as they mentor aspiring young artists. In 2009, Jones appeared on one of the final episodes of Bill Moyers Journal, discussing his Lincoln suite of works. He was also one of 22 prominent black Americans featured in the HBO documentary The Black List in 2008. In 2004, ARTE France and Bel Air Media produced Bill T. Jones–Solos, highlighting three of his iconic solos from a cinematic point of view. The making of Still/Here was the subject of a documentary by Bill Moyers and David Grubin entitled Bill T. Jones: Still/Here with Bill Moyersin 1997.

In 2011 Jones was named Executive Artistic Director of New York Lives Arts, a new model of artist-led, producing/presenting/touring arts organisation unique in the United States that was formed by a merger of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance
Theatre Workshop.

His memoir, Last Night on Earth was published in 1995. An in-depth look at the work of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane can be found in Body Against Body: The Dance and Other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane.

Fondly Do We Hope… Fervently Do We Pray