Choreographer enthused for upcoming lecture
An award-winning dancer and choreographer hopes to share his life’s passion and work with students and faculty in the inaugural Mitchell Lecture at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12, hosted by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.
Bill T. Jones is an inspiring individual who uses dance as well as text, visual arts, music and a stylistic approach to movement to establish unique choreography often described as “new wave” or “postmodern.”
“I hope to arouse in UH students an excitement of life in the arts,” Jones said. “I also hope to share the importance of working with people across cultures and how adding other disciplines into one’s work can take dance to a whole different level.”
Jones’ love for dance began in his early college years. Although he had never taken a professional dance course before, he knew dance was what he was born to do and said he spent many years fighting to achieve his goal.
“I am most proud of having survived doing what I love most. My dance, or creations, don’t have much market value,” Jones said. “I was always having to find a way to survive, and the fact that I was able to do so is something that still amazes me today.”
His company, The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and has created famous works such as “Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land,” “We Set Out Early … Visibility Was Poor” and “Blind Date.”
Jones has been the recipient of many awards throughout his career, including the MacArthur “Genius” Award in 1994, a Kennedy Center Honor in 2010 and numerous Tony Awards. He has also worked with many legendary dancers and choreographers.
He stressed that his success has come from the knowledge of living in a multicultural society.
“I know what success is now, something that I didn’t know as a young man. My life priorities have changed so much from then to now, just like my freedoms,” Jones said. “We all want freedom, and we can have as much freedom as we are willing to fight for.”
Karen Farber, director of the Mitchell Center, is thrilled to have an important figure at UH and believes that a single lecture by this inspiring individual can make as much of an impact as a year-long residency.
The lecture is free and open to the public.