SJC Welcomes Bill T. Jones

February 18, 2009

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - FEBRUARY 19, 2009 - St. Joseph's College Council for the Arts is delighted to announce that Tony Award winning choreographer and MacArthur "Genius" grant recipient Bill. T. Jones will be the featured speaker at the College's 2nd Annual Presidential Arts Colloquium on its Brooklyn campus. During the event, entitled A Conversation with Bill T. Jones, he will discuss his career, his approach to making work, and current projects. Video excerpts of recent pieces will be shown, and questions taken from the audience. This conversation, part of the series America From Sea To Shifting Sea: Our Changing Cultural Tides, will take place on Monday, March 16 at St. Joseph's College's Tuohy Hall Auditorium, 245 Clinton Avenue at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Bill T. Jones has consistently redefined the genre of modern dance since he began choreographing and performing over 30 years ago. With his partner, the late Arnie Zane, his innovative work captivated the dance world. In 1982, they founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, quickly garnering recognition for autobiographical duets, large-scale abstract compositions, multi-faceted presentations, and Jones' powerful solos. To date, Jones has created more than 140 original compositions for his company. In addition to this impressive body of work, Jones has received numerous commissions to create work for ballet and modern dance companies worldwide. Throughout his career, Jones has been noted for his ability to engage in social and political discourse through his work.

Most recently, Jones has embarked on an examination of the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, spurred by a major commission from the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, IL in honor of the Lincoln Bicentennial. His first study on the topic "Serenade/The Proposition," (commissioned by the Joyce Theater) premiered last July at the American Dance Festival and was recognized for its probing inquiry of our connections to history in general. This September, Fondly Do We Hope... Fervently Do We Pray will premiere at the Ravinia Festival and specifically address the issues of Lincoln, his time, and what he means to us now. Using Jones' childhood vision of the president as a starting point, it will include material gathered from workshops where participants from diverse and multi-generational populations are asked to express their interpretations of Lincoln through movement and gestures.

Jones' work has been recognized dozens of times over, earning him, among many other awards, 5 "Bessies" (New York Dance and Performance Awards) and numerous choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2000, he was cited by the Dance Heritage Coalition as an "Irreplaceable Dance Treasure." Recently, his choreography of the highly acclaimed Spring Awakening earned him a Tony Award and he directed Fela! A New Musical off-Broadway.