Bill T. Jones has long been recognized as one of this country's leading contemporary dancers and choreographers, known for his mix of athleticism and his willingness to take on big subjects from the world around him. Most recently, Jones is tackling history: Traveling around the country are works about the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, on Broadway is 'Fela: the Musical,' which is about a 1970s African pop star and political activist. He discusses his work with PBS NewsHour correspondent Jeff Brown.
REHEARSAL CLIP: Directing a musical Jones has to think beyond dance choreography to lighting, dialogue, costumes, and set design. Watch an exclusive behind the scenes rehearsal as lead choreographer, Bill T. Jones, and, associate choreographer, Maija Garcia direct the cast of Fela in a rehearsal of the Storming scene from the musical.
Bill T. Jones
Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Choreographer/Dancer Bill T. Jones is the recipient of a 2007 Tony Award, 2007 Obie Award, and 2006 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation CALLAWAY Award for his choreography for Spring Awakening; the 2007 USA Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship; the 2006 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Choreography for The Seven; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the Harlem Renaissance Award; the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; and the 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award.
In 2000, The Dance Heritage Coalition named Mr. Jones "An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure." Mr. Jones began his dance training at the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY), studying classical ballet and modern dance. He choreographed and performed worldwide as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane, before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982. www.billtjones.org
World-renowned choreographer and director Bill T. Jones describes his interest in attracting a wider audience for his production of "Fela!" Jones reflects on the evolving theater culture in America, saying, "The demographics of the country are changing, are we ready?"
Directing a musical Jones has to think beyond dance choreography to
lighting, dialogue, costumes, and set design. Watch an exclusive behind
the scenes rehearsal as lead choreographer, Bill T. Jones, and,
associate choreographer, Maija Garcia direct the cast of Fela in a
rehearsal of the Storming scene from the musical.
(born Feb. 15, 1952, Bunnell, Fla., U.S.) U.S. dancer and choreographer. He trained in dance and theatre at the State University of New York, Binghamton. In 1982, with his companion, Arnie Zane (194888), he cofounded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. All his performances have been in works he has choreographed alone or with a collaborator; they include Runner Dreams (1978) and Open Spaces (1980). His works often make explicit reference to social issues; his controversial Still/Here (1995) deals with the sufferings caused by HIV, with which Jones is infected and which was the cause of Zane's death.