Bill T. Jones: Religious Roots Of His Choreography And Dance
Bill T. Jones has stormed Broadway in recent years with his Tony Award winning choreography in Spring Awakening and Fela! Yet Jones is no newcomer to the dance world. He has been a leading dancer and choreographer since arriving in New York in the 1970s with partner and collaborator Arnie Zane.
Together they formed the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and although Zane would die of HIV related illness in 1988, Bill T. continued the company in both of their names. Most recently, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company has joined forces with the Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City to Create 'New York Live Arts' with Bill T. Jones as Executive Artistic Director.
Bill T. has constantly pushed the envelope of what dance can be. In extraordinary pieces such as Blauvelt Mountain, Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land, Still/Here, and Fela!, he has incorporated a unique spiritual sensibility into the movement and message of his work. In 1994, Bill T. Jones was awarded the MacArthur Genius Award, and in 2010 was honored at the Kennedy Center Awards.
In the interview above, Bill T. Jones talks about the prophecy that he would become a preacher, his first time in an African Dance class, and how his art testifies to the world.
In the interview below, Bill T. talks about the theme of love in his first dance in New York City, his partner Arnie Zane, AIDS, and how life does not end at death.
Both videos feature archival clips from some of Bill T. Jones's most iconic dances.