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Jody Kielbasa
Vice Provost for the Arts
Director, Virginia Film Festival

Sponsored by
the office of the Provost &
the Vice Provost for the Arts

 
   

Residencies & Events
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company returns to U.Va. for an extended residency that will include three visits in 2011. On his first visit, Mr. Jones will participate in a public session of the School of Architecture's symposium, DesignThinkingMashup. The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will return for residencies in April and November to research and develop a new evening-length, interdisciplinary performance work.

   
         
         
 
Creative Proposition
Ongoing...
PBS Broadcast
June 16 | 6:30 pm
WHTJ Charlottesville PBS
WCVE Richmond PBS


PBS Broadcast
June 30 | 5:30 pm
WHTJ Charlottesville PBS
WCVE Richmond PBS

Thanks to the Jefferson Trust, the office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, and the office of the Vice President for Research for funding this incredible project.

The Creative Proposition, a new Kartemquin film about the importance of art in the university, is going to be broadcast by WCVE PBS Richmond and WHTJ Charlottesville PBS on June 16th at 6:30pm and again on June 30th at 5:30pm.

The film tells the story of how in 2008, Bill T. Jones and company came to the University of Virginia to create a major collaborative dance work, titled 100 Migrations, that involved the school and surrounding community creating a site-specific work based upon the question: "Had Abraham Lincoln lived, what would we be like today?" The initial project then evolved into a multi-year, university-wide residency dedicated to the proposition that the Arts play a crucial role in the life of the mind.

Originally produced alongside our feature length PBS American masters documentary A Good Man, which covered Jones' for two years as he and his company created a dance-theatre performance about the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, The Creative Proposition has been adapted into its own stand alone project, commissioned by the University of Virginia, which we hope will be used by multiple universities and education policy-makers to facilitate discussion on the role of the arts in higher education.

The film was made by director Gordon Quinn, producer Rachel Pikelny and editor David E. Simpson, who were all part of the original team on A Good Man, and includes interviews with Bill T. Jones as well as UVA faculty members including Elizabeth Turner, former Vice Provost for the Arts; George Sampson, Lecturer in Arts Administration; and Lindsey Hepler, Arts in Action Coordinator and a student/performer during 100 Migrations.

The short film, as well as all of the original material and an edited version of the 100 Migrations live performance will be archived at UVA and will be available to students and faculty as a learning tool.

Kartemquin press release >
DesignThinkingMashup
Bill T. Jones interviewed by
Julian Bond: Explorations in Black Leadership Series

Julian Bond interviews Bill T. Jones, the executive artistic director of New York Live Arts and co-founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, in this installment of U.Va.'s Explorations in Black Leadership series. Jones is a dancer and choreographer who has been widely honored for his numerous and varied works. He also received a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award in 1994 and a Kennedy Center Honor in 2010.

The Explorations in Black Leadership series is presented by the Institute for Public History at the University of Virginia.

More information on Explorations here >
Watch the video on YouTube >
U.Va. Medical Center Hour with Bill T. Jones Still
A Meditation on Still/Here

A Meditation on Still/Here: Learning from Survivors
U.Va. Medical Center Hour, November 9, 2011

Bill T. Jones, Executive Artistic Director, New York Live Arts, and Cofounder and Artistic Director, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, New York, NY.

Bill T. Jones reflects on Still/Here, a film produced in 1997 and dealing with mortality and the spirit of survival as expressed by people suffering terminal illnesses. How does its spirit infuse his present work? What does Still/Here show us about healing? About resilience in the face of our mortality?

A John F. Anderson Memorial Lecture
Co-presented with the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts and the Center for Design and Health, School of Architecture

Watch the video on YouTube >
   
Still from Explorations in Black Leadership Series with Bill T. Jones
"The Artists Speaks" with Bill T. Jones

Dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones has had a relationship with the University of Virginia for about 10 years. He and his dance company make fairly regular visits to practice new works and to engage students, faculty and others in the University and Charlottesville communities. Hear what he has to say about the art of dance and his association with U.Va.

Watch the video here >
Watch the video on YouTube >
   
DesignThinkingMashup
Residency
About the residency

A three-part residency will be held at U.Va. in conjunction with Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company to develop a new evening-length work, tentatively entitled Story/Time. As Mr. Jones begins to develop the new work, he will share his creative process with the U.Va. and Charlottesville communities.

U.Va. is a "Development Partner" in the genesis of this project. The concept for the work is inspired by John Cage's Indeterminacy, a performance work wherein Mr. Cage read 90 short stories over 90 minutes while a musical score performed in another room by David Tudor was heard over the readings at chance intervals.

Story/Time is co-commissioned by Peak Performances at Montclair State University and the Walker Arts Center. Development support is provided by U.Va, Bard College, and Arizona State University Gammage Auditorium. The piece will premiere at Montclair State University in 2012.

   
         
         
Bill T. Jones Creative Team site visit
Part 1: Colloquium
Bill T. Jones Creative Team site visit
February 22-23, 2011

Bill T. Jones and key collaborators will visit on grounds in February 2011 for the research and development phase of the new evening-length work. Their visit will include the inspection of locations on grounds and in the Charlottesville area.

Bill T. Jones will also participate as a panelist during the first session of the School of Architecture's symposium, DesignThinkingMashup.The symposium will explore collaboration, creative research, and community, using Architecture and the Arts as exemplars of creative problem solving techniques.

Session #1
"Chance, Indeterminacy and the Creative Process"
February 22
6:30-8 pm
Campbell Hall, Room 153

Panelists include
Bill T. Jones, Tony Award winning choreographer and 2010 Kennedy Center Honors recipient
Warren Berger, Author, Glimmer
Ted Coffey, U.Va. Music Department
Michael Rasbury, U.Va. Drama Department
Howard Singerman, U.Va. Art History
Lydia Moyer, U.Va. Studio Art

More details >

Symposium sponsors
Sponsored by
University of Virginia School of Architecture

Co-sponsored by
Vice Provost for the Arts, Vice President for Research, Department of Drama (Program in Dance), Program in Arts Administration, University Programs Council (UPC), and Cville Weekly

   
Bill T. Jones Creative Team site visit
Part 2: Workshops
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company residency
April 18-22, 2011

In-studio activity will focus on reconstructing the classic Bill T. Jones works, D-Man in the Waters and Spent Days Out Yonder, to be performed at the Paramount in November, and research and development of the company's new work, Story/Time, in collaboration with composer Ted Coffey. Out of studio activities will include intersections with U.Va. arts students during their classes, final performances, and reviews.

**A live video stream of Wednesday's rehearsal will be available at this site from 4-5pm on Wednesday, April 20!**

To inquire about attending an open rehearsal on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday email Bill T Jones at U.Va.

To RSVP for a Master Class with Janet Wong, Associate Artistic Director, on Wed. 4/20 from 5:30-7:30pm, please contact Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp.

       
Bill T. Jones Creative Team site visit
Part 3: Performance
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company residency
November 6-11, 2011

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will be returning to Grounds November 6-11, 2011. The week will begin with the Charlottesville premiere of "A Good Man." Throughout the week, the company will continue the research and development of the their new work, Story/Time, in collaboration with composer Ted Coffey. Open rehearsals will be held throughout the week to offer students and faculty the opportunity to see the company at work. At the end of the week, there will be a work-in-progress showing of Story/Time, open to all UVA and Community members, as well as a ticketed performance at the Paramount Theater, downtown.

Residency Events

Arts Assembly:
Creative Exploration and the University

A Good Man Screening
+
100 Migrations Short Film
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Artist Talk with Bill T Jones and filmmaker Gordon Quinn
Virginia Film Festival Event
Culbreth Theatre
November 6, 2011 | 4 pm
Free for students & faculty

A Good Man follows legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones on his personal and artistic journey while creating a piece based on Abraham Lincoln (a journey that brought him to the University of Virginia, where he was in residency). The film will be paired with the short film 100 Migrations, a 15-minute piece that captures the work itself and more of his experiences on the University Grounds. The film screening will be followed by a discussion with Bill T. Jones and director Gordon Quinn, moderated by Coy Barefoot (WINA).

U.Va. Students can reserve a free ticket to A Good Man online, in-person or by phone through the Arts Box Office.

U.Va. Faculty and Staff can reserve a free ticket to A Good Man only in-person at the U.Va. Arts Box Office. A U.Va. Fac/Staff ID is required and only one free ticket will be issued to each U.Va. Faculty and Staff member.

All others purchase tickets here >
Community Master Class with Janet Wong
Mem Gym
Free | November 7 2011; 6:30–8pm

Filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The class will be capped at 30 people.
Interview with Julian Bond and Bill T. Jones
Harrison Auditorium
November 8, 2011; 10–11:30am
Co-sponsored by the Institute for
Public History, Explorations in Black History Project

More information >

For the past 10 years, 47 interviews have been conducted by Julian Bond, national chairman emeritus of the NAACP and professor of history at the University of Virginia. These oral histories focus on issues of black leadership and the transformational role of the civil rights movement in America. By concentrating on leadership in equal measure to the remembered past of peoples' lives, the conversations implicitly connect the ways in which historical circumstances create the conditions for the future.

Attendees are asked to arrive by 9:45am, and will not be allowed to leave the auditorium until the conclusion of the interview. Seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Bill T. Jones: Still/Here with Bill Moyers
Jordan Conference Center Auditorium
November 8, 2011; 5:30-7:15 pm | Free

A screening of the 1997 documentary video about dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones’s landmark work on mortality and the spirit of survival, Still/Here. The screening is followed by discussion led by fourth-year medical student members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Copresented by The Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities and the Gold Humanism Honor Society, UVA chapter.
Medical Center Hour: A Meditation on Still/Here: Learning from Survivors
Jordan Conference Center Auditorium
November 9, 2011; 12:30–1:30 pm
Sponsored by The Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, John F. Anderson Memorial Lecture; Copresented with the Center for Design and Health, School of Architecture

As part of his UVA residency, Bill T. Jones offers reflections on his 1997 dance work, Still/Here, created in workshops with persons who had survived life-threatening illness or wereliving with terminal illness. Now, fourteen years later, what does Still/Here mean to him? How does its spirit infuse his present work? What does Still/Here tell us about resilience in the face of our mortality? About healing?

In conjunction with this event, there will be a free screening of Still/Here with Bill Moyers in the Jordan Conference Center Auditorium at 7pm on Tuesday November 8.

During the Medical Center Hour, Bill T. Jones will reflect on Still/Here, a landmark piece from 1994, and revisit some of the themes addressed by his interview with Bill Moyers. He will connect his work to larger issues of medicine and society, the body in sickness and in health, disability, mortality, the meaning of illness, and making memorials.

More details...
Open Rehearsal Hours
Culbreth Theatre
November 8 & 9, 2011; 5–6 pm

Observe the research and development of the company's new work, Story/Time, in collaboration with composer Ted Coffey.
Work-in-progress showing of Story/Time
Culbreth Theatre
November 10, 2011; 6:30–8 pm
Reserve Free Tickets

As the capstone event to the U.Va. portion of the residency, the company will demonstrate the work that has been done on Story/Time during the week with a full 70-minute work-in-progress showing, followed by a 20-minute Q&A with the artists.
Serenade/The Proposition performance
The Paramount Theatre
November 11, 2011; 8 pm
Ticketed Event

Serenade/The Proposition draws on the Civil War era to examine how we talk to each other and to ourselves about the past. In a set of moveable columns animated by video projection, time and place shift as the cast of dancers, musicians and actor assemble and reassemble a sense of history, both shared and personal. The original live score draws from Mozart’s Requiem, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Dixie” to create a playful, contemporary collage for cello, piano and soprano.

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will perform Serenade/The Proposition for the final time, concluding a three-year international tour. For this final performance, Bill T. Jones himself will appear in the production.
American Masters: Bill T. Jones A Good Man
PBS stations nation-wide
November 11, 2011; 9 pm

American Masters continues its 25th anniversary season with Bill T. Jones: A Good Man, premiering nationally Friday, November 11 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on PBS (check local listings). The 90-minute film chronicles the intense creative journey of Bill T. Jones – a 2010 Kennedy Center Honors recipient and two-time Tony® Award winner for Best Choreography – as he tackles the most ambitious work of his career and leads the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in the creation of Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray, an original dance-theater piece in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial commissioned by Ravinia Festival.

More Information >

Sponsors
The 2011 Bill T. Jones Residency is organized by the Arts Grounds Committee and sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts, the University of Virginia Arts Council, and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Download poster (pdf) >

Inaugural Arts Assembly with featured guest Bill T. Jones in Old Cabell Hall Sunday November 9, 2008 at the University of Virginia. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff
Story/Time Rehearsal | Photo credits: Dan Addison & Cole Geddy
The setting of the bed on the South Lawn
Story/Time Rehearsal | Photo credits: Dan Addison & Cole Geddy
Master Class with Janet Wong and Bill T. Jones, November 12, 2008
Story/Time Work in Progress | Photo credits: Dan Addison & Cole Geddy
Performance, November 15, 2008 at University Hall
Story/Time Work in Progress | Photo credits: Dan Addison & Cole Geddy
Performance, November 15, 2008 at University Hall
Serenade/The Proposition Performance | Photo credits: Dan Addison & Cole Geddy
Performance, November 15, 2008 at University Hall
Serenade/The Proposition Performance | Photo credits: Dan Addison & Cole Geddy

       
Press Statements
November 2011

For almost a decade Bill T. Jones has made regular visits to the University, engaging in dialogue with students, faculty, administration, and Charlottesville community members from a variety of academic, as well as demographic, backgrounds. It is rare for a university to sustain a dialogue with an Artist of great renown over an extended period. Not since Faulkner walked the Grounds has U.Va. had this type of relationship with a great Artist. In the past three years, U.Va.’s relationship with Mr. Jones and his company has intensified with specific projects resulting in original works of art. By using the University setting for the development of new work, Mr. Jones has exposed U.Va.’s potential for creative research, in conjunction with the University’s teaching and research mission. He has made visible the ways in which U.Va.’s history, memory and setting foster this type of research.

Mr. Jones is an exemplar of the University-wide Visiting Artist residency program, establishing a new level of engagement and awareness for the Arts at U.Va. As a leader in his field, Mr. Jones has engaged in dialogue with thought leaders at U.Va. in order to contribute to the production of new knowledge, and to larger conversations about broad themes that resonate with current trends in society. Mr. Jones recognizes U.Va. as a place that is unique in its ability to enable contemplation, to engage diverse populations in dialogue, and to ignite young people’s passions. As such, he has repeatedly chosen U.Va. as a place to come to create new works. The Bill T. Jones residencies have created a lasting legacy that will live on in the hearts and minds of all who have worked on the projects. The Charlottesville community has been forever altered by their work with Mr. Jones. His continued presence on Grounds has inspired students to pursue careers as Artists or Arts administrators; allowed faculty the opportunity to work in new, collaborative ways; and strengthened the University’s commitment to the Arts.

We are excited to welcome Bill T. Jones and his company back to Charlottesville for what we know will be an exciting week, focused on the further development of another new work, "Story/Time". Throughout the week, the company will continue the research and development of the project with U.Va. professor and composer Ted Coffey.

The residency week will culminate with a performance of another work inspired by Lincoln, "Serenade/The Proposition," at Charlottesville's Paramount Theater. This performance concludes the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's three-year international tour of the production, and for this final performance, Jones himself will take part.

“The interactions of Bill T. Jones and his creative company with a diverse group of student and faculty partners at U.Va. have been a joy to watch. Bill is a pioneer in a choreography landscape and culture that are different in some ways than U.Va. scholarship, and also similar in so many dimensions. He has emphasized the value of individual artistry while recognizing that every person is a collaborator with their times and their places, also drawing inspiration from those who have come before us. He is an ideal role model for our U.Va. community commitment to share ideas freely, learn from others, and imagine the future. When he executes a new vision, his commitment to artistic integrity and high standards of quality are unrivalled. These are all attributes that students and faculty alike can learn from and aspire to. We look forward to many years of imagining the future in collaboration with this great pioneer of American arts and creative life.”

-- Tom Skalak, Vice President for Research at U.Va.

       
About Bill T. Jones
Bill T. Jones
About Bill T. Jones

Bill T. Jones is a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director, and writer with major honors ranging from a 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award & 2010 Kennedy Center Honors, to Tony & Obie Awards in 2006 and 2007 for Spring Awakening and the 2010 Tony Award for Fela! The London production of Fela! was recently simulcast to theaters worldwide, including Charlottesville's Paramount. Inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009, he was named "An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure" by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000. His choreography for the off-Broadway production of The Seven earned him a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award.

He formed the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982, and in addition to creating more than 140 works for his own company, Bill has received commissions to create dances for many others including Alvin Ailey, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, and Berlin Opera Ballet. 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 Center. His collaboration with Jessye Norman, How! Do! We! Do! premiered at New York's City Center 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, the Harlem Renaissance Award. 2005; the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award in 1991; and multiple New York Dance Bessie Awards.

       
About the new work

To enable the creation of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's next major work, the Company assembled institutional Commissioning Partners and Development Partners.

These partners are a who's who of on-campus innovative and commissioning arts presenters: Montclair State University, the Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis), Arizona State University Bard College, and U.Va. This marks the first time U.Va. has been mentioned in national press with these leading arts presenting and commissioning institutions.

       
About the Bill T. Jones Artist-in-Residence, 2008
100 Migrations

Collaborative Workshop and Residency University of Virginia November 9-16, 2008

Presented by
Peter and Eaddo Kiernan Foundation

Co-sponsorship by
Dorothy Batten
University of Virginia Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts
University of Virginia Office of the Vice President for Research
College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
University of Virginia Departments of Drama, Music, and Art
Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies
University of Virginia Office of African-American and African Affairs
University Programs Council
Student Council
Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church
Z Society

Community collaborators
Paramount Theater
Piedmont Virginia Community College Dance Club
Piedmont Council of the Arts
The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative

Visit residency web site >
Visit Piedmont Council for the Arts, residency blog >
Inaugural Arts Assembly with featured guest Bill T. Jones in Old Cabell Hall Sunday November 9, 2008 at the University of Virginia. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff
Inaugural Arts Assembly with featured guest Bill T. Jones in Old Cabell Hall Sunday November 9, 2008 at the University of Virginia. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff
The setting of the bed on the South Lawn
The setting of the bed on the South Lawn
Master Class with Janet Wong and Bill T. Jones, November 12, 2008
Master Class with Janet Wong and Bill T. Jones, November 12, 2008
Performance, November 15, 2008 at University Hall
Performance, November 15, 2008 at University Hall
Performance, November 15, 2008 at University Hall
Performance, November 15, 2008 at University Hall
Performance, November 15, 2008 at University Hall
Performance, November 15, 2008 at University Hall

       
Bill T. Jones Residency 2011 Sponsors

Sponsors for the residency are the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts and the University of Virginia Arts Council as well as the Office of the Vice President for Research for their overarching support.

       

In the News

July 2012

Boston.com, An oxymoronic event of purposeful randomness, July 28, 2012, by Becket

The vibrant, very much living members of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company are surrounded by ghosts in Story/Time. In a general way, this is not so unusual; contemporary dance often bears a proud aura of its ancestral shadows. But Jones, the creator of Story/Time, has long performed with his own, particular ghosts — Zane, Jones’s lover and co-director, who died in 1988; his parents, Estelle and Gus; the dancer Demian Acquavella — who are at times faintly discernible in his work, at other times front and center.

And now John Cage makes his posthumous debut with the company, the composer’s 1958 Indeterminacy serving as inspiration for Story/Time, which is presented this week at Jacob’s Pillow. In one version of Indeterminacy, Cage read a series of wry one-minute stories while parts of his compositions were played by the musician David Tudor: Neither component was staged to complement the other, thus creating an oxymoronic event of purposeful randomness.

Read more >

January 2012

New York Times, Bill T. Jones Takes a Turn on the Stage in New Work, January 18, 2012, by Felicia R. Lee

It’s tempting to say that Bill. T. Jones has followed the classic trajectory from artistic outsider to consummate insider. Mr. Jones, a choreographer, writer and theater director whose reputation was built on provocative work that marries high-art aesthetics with social concerns, has journeyed from the stages of downtown dance to two Tony awards for choreography and a Kennedy Center Honor. But Mr. Jones, in a recent interview, insisted that he is still a “stranger in a strange land,” making an “audacious” shuttle between avant-garde and commercial audiences.

“Story/Time,” his newest work, set to premiere Saturday at the Peak Performances series at Montclair State University, represents his official return to performing after a few years away as well as a return to his experimental mode. He said “Story/Time,” a co-commission of Peak Performances and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis was inspired by the composer John Cage’s “Indeterminacy,” first performed in 1958, a series of one-minute spoken-word stories that was different each time it was performed and was eventually recorded as an album. Mr. Jones’s version puts him at a desk onstage, reading his own series of mostly autobiographical stories, as his troupe’s nine members surround him. Each performance is 70 minutes long and includes 50 to 70 stories, as well as silences.

Read more >

November 2011

UVA Today, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Residency at U.Va. Highlights a Life in Dance, November 15, 2011, by Jane Ford

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's third weeklong residency at the University of Virginia was filled with numerous opportunities for students and the public to see Jones at work and hear first hand how he translates ideas into performance.

And what ideas. About music and movement. Mortality and meaning. Learning. Leadership.

"To watch a great artist tackling big questions; watch him develop and change over time, we see what it means for the arts to lead the conversation," Elizabeth Hutton Turner, vice provost for the arts, said.

Read more >

C-Ville, Story/Time with Bill T. Jones: Jones wraps up a UVA residency with a work-in-progress, November 15, 2011, by Spencer Peterson

In 1958, composer John Cage gave a lecture titled “Indeterminacy” that would be remembered as a milestone in post-war avant-garde composition. Sitting at a desk in front of an auditorium of people, he read a series of randomly ordered one-minute stories to the accompaniment of electronic scratches, distorted recordings of music and the occasional mashed piano chord. According to choreographer Bill T. Jones, whose latest work is based on “Indeterminacy,” Cage was effectively teaching composers to “get their own taste out of the way.”

In Story/Time, which previewed at Culbreth Theater last week as the capstone to Jones’ three-year UVA residency, Jones sits at a desk and reads 70 one-minute stories while the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company moves around him as a large LED keeps time. For the piece, Jones wrote a total of 140 stories about his life and choreographed a dance for each. Before the company begins rehearsing for a single performance, 70 of the vignettes are picked in random order, and a dance is created from what Jones calls a “menu of movement events,” around which UVA composer Ted Coffey arranges music from a palette of experimental sounds.

Read more >

The Daily Progress, Bill T. Jones shares stories of a life in dance by David Maurer, November 4, 2011

Long before the limelight of the stage illuminated Bill T. Jones, he had danced in the glow of a jukebox.

The music machine had been in the living room of Jones’ early childhood home in Bunnell, Fla. It was there where he first experienced the exuberance of dance.

“I grew up in a household where we would provide entertainment for migrant workers who worked for my father,” Jones said recently by cell phone as his driver carefully maneuvered along an icy road near Laramie, Wyo.

More >

Cavalier Daily, Bill T. Jones returns to Charlottesville by Rachel Lim, November 3, 2011

Avant-garde composer John Cage once described his ethos for writing music by saying, “I gave up making choices. In their place I put the asking of questions.”

Cage was one of the most famous proponents of indeterminancy in music — the idea that chance could be incorporated into a work so that every performance would differ from another. One of the most iconic works of this theory is Cage’s aptly titled “Indeterminancy,” in which Cage read 90 short stories in 90 minutes while music played in random segments in the background.

More >

October 2011

UVA Today, U.Va. Brings Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Back for a Week of Events by Jane Ford, October 31, 2011

Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will be Artists in Residence at the University of Virginia from Nov. 6 to 11. Their visit completes a three-part U.Va. residency during which Jones and company researched and developed a new dance-theater work.

The residency leads off with the University's annual Arts Assembly, "Creative Exploration and the University." Jones will discuss his artistic process, from creative inspiration to final production, with filmmaker Gordon Quinn following a screening of two documentaries, "A Good Man" and "100 Migrations." These films chronicle Jones's exploration and creation of the Lincoln-inspired dance-theater piece "Fondly Do We hope ... Fervently Do We Pray."

More >

August 2011

UVA Today, U.Va. Music Professor Ted Coffey Collaborates with Bill T. Jones in 'Story/Time' by Rob Seal, August 30, 2011

A University of Virginia music professor is composing and performing the music for an ambitious new performance piece by noted choreographer and artist Bill T. Jones.

Ted Coffey, an associate music professor in U.Va.'s College of Arts & Sciences, is currently rehearsing for the January debut of "Story/Time," a stage performance by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company inspired by artist and composer John Cage's 1958 work "Indeterminacy."

More >

April 2011

UVa Today. Giving Form to Ideas: Bill T. Jones Bridges the Arts During U.Va. Residency by Jane Ford, April 29, 2011

Sharing the creative process and bridging artistic disciplines were the main thrusts of a weeklong residency at the University of Virginia by director and choreographer Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, held April 18 to 22.

Always on a quest for new meaning in art and ways to give form to ideas, Jones said he likes visiting the University. "U.Va. has the same religion I have: belief in art and culture. And, they believe in their students," he said.

During the visit – the second of a three-part residency – the company taught four classes in the Drama Department's dance program, and Janet Wong, associate artistic director of the dance company, taught a master class in modern technique for students and community members.

More >

c-ville. A dance with "D-Man" by Andrew Cedermark, April 26, 2011 - May 2, 2011

In the glory days of the Dallas Cowboys—the early 1990s—kids used to joke about how the team's compact, unstoppable running back Emmitt Smith took ballet lessons in the off-season. It made theoretical sense, kind of, that studying movement would improve his footwork. But the thought that it was Smith's moonlighting in Capezios and a tutu that allowed him to carry for 132 yards and two touchdowns (plus catching four passes for 26 yards) in Super Bowl XXVIII, was, for certain young men, a major source of cognitive dissonance.

And for this writer it remained a bit confusing until I watched the Tony- and "Genius" grant-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones rehearse a portion of his 1989 contemporary dance piece, "D-Man in the Waters," in the modest studio at UVA's Memorial Gym. Jones, who wrote and choreographed Fela! on Broadway, was at UVA last week for the second of a three-part, year-long residency that will culminate in a November performance of "D-Man" at the Paramount Theater. Jones wrote the piece in 1989 when a member of his company, Demian Acquavella, or "D-Man" was suffering from AIDS. (During the residency, Jones also worked on "Story/Time," a collaboration with UVA composer Ted Coffey.)

More >

March 2011

Christian Science Monitor. Bill T. Jones, a master of modern dance by Iris Fanger, March 14, 2011

Two men are dancing on stage, the small, tightly coiled white man darting around the 6-foot-1 black man who projects an elegant, riveting charisma. The year is 1981; they have been performing together for eight years. However it is still new that they are partnering each other in ways that men usually treat women – lifting each other, trading tender looks. Although there are established black companies in America by now, seldom are black dancers and white dancers seen side by side.

Bill T. Jones, the tall man, and Arnie Zane, his partner, talk out loud as they move, pushing another boundary. Zane recites a speech in Dutch, learned when he spent a period in Amsterdam. Jones recites the names of his 11 brothers and sisters.

Now, 30 years later, Jones is still speaking his mind, only this time as a trailblazer at the confluence of the avant-garde and commercial theater. You cannot miss his presence: His company will be performing in Arizona, California, North Carolina, Virginia, and New York this spring, while "FELA!" – his Broadway musical – starts its world tour in Lagos, Nigeria, in April and continues in London in the summer.

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