Dance Life + Arts

Award-winning choreographer to inspire dancers

Bill T. Jones

Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones will speak about his legacy to inspire students and staff at the first annual Mitchell Artist Lecture, hosted by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12. | Courtesy of Nicole Romano

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts will play host to award-winning theater director, collaborator and choreographer Bill T. Jones, as he will be the first speaker at the center’s new event, the Mitchell Artist Lecture, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12.

Director of the Mitchell Center Karen Farber said she is proud to be a part of this new lecture series. The goal of the lecture series is to feature an iconic artist known across disciplines who motivates students and faculty.

“Bill T. Jones is an inspiring presence and a dynamic speaker. Sometimes, a single lecture by such an individual can make as much of an impact as a year-long residency,” Farber said. “I am thrilled that the Mitchell Center can bring such an important figure to the UH campus and cannot wait to hear what he has to share with us.”

Jones grew up in upstate New York and became involved in theater and arts in high school. He began his dancing career in ballet and modern dance at Binghamton University.

He first helped establish the American Dance Asylum with Lois Welk and his partner, Arnie Zane.  Afterward, Jones and Zane formed their own dance company where their creative direction took a dynamic turn.

“Bill T. Jones is not only a legendary choreographer, but he is also a quintessential collaborator, having partnered with artists from nearly every other discipline, including visual artists, writers, musicians, theater directors and beyond,” Farber said.

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Dance Company, incorporates mixed video, text and autobiographical material to create unique choreography often described as “new wave” or “post-modern.”

“He has kept pace with the rapidly changing landscape in art making,” Farber said. “He is an outspoken activist, always challenging the status quo and inspiring those around him to do the same.”

Jones was the recipient of many awards and recognitions throughout his career such as the Mac Arthur Genius Award in 1994, a Kennedy Center Honor in 2010 and numerous Tony Awards. He has also worked with many legendary dancers and choreographers.

“Jones has now become Executive Artistic Director of New York Live Arts, which gives him a physical facility from which he is able to continue experimenting with new forms and ideas, which I have no doubt he will do for many years to come,” Farber said.

The lecture is free, open to the public and will be hosted in the Moores Opera House.

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