Jan. 17, 2013/For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, firstname.lastname@example.org
DANCE ICON BILL T. JONES IS
LUCIA CHASE FELLOW AT UNCSA
WINSTON-SALEM – Two-time Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones is the 2013 Lucia Chase Fellow at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Dance. The recent Kennedy Center honoree will be on campus Jan. 27 to give a lecture and conduct an open rehearsal for dancers of his work D Man in the Waters, which will be presented as part of UNCSA’s Winter Dance concert, Feb. 21-24 at the Stevens Center.
Jones won a Tony Award for Best Choreography in 2010 for the critically acclaimed FELA!, which he conceived, wrote, choreographed and directed. He also won a Tony for Best Choreography in 2007 for Spring Awakening, which garnered an Obie Award in its 2006 off-Broadway run. He was honored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2010.
“Our students and our faculty have long been inspired by the work of Bill T. Jones, and the opportunity to work with him here on our campus is exciting,” said Dean of Dance Susan Jaffe. “Anytime you can be in the presence of genius, it fuels your passion for dance.”
The Lucia Chase Endowed Fellowship for Dance was established in 1988 by UNCSA Chancellor Emeritus Alex C. Ewing as a memorial to his mother, principal dancer with and longtime artistic director of American Ballet Theatre. The fellowship provides funding for a professional dancer to serve as guest instructor in the School of Dance. Previous Lucia Chase Fellows have included Agnes de Mille, Jacques d’Amboise, Irina Baronova, Margot Fonteyn, Arthur Mitchell, Pearl Primus, Twyla Tharp and Jose Manuel Carreño.
“These are icons of the dance world,” Jaffe said. “Countless numbers of UNCSA dance alumni and current students have been impacted by their experience with Lucia Chase Fellows.”
Jones is a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theatre director and writer whose honors include a 1994 MacArthur Genius Award, induction into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a Lucille Lortel Award for the off-Broadway production of The Seven. Since 2010 he has been executive artistic director of New York Live Arts, a unique artist-led, producing/presenting/touring arts organization that was formed by a merger of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop.
Jones’ athletic D Man in the Waters premiered in 1989 at the Joyce Theatre in New York, and was broadcast on the Emmy-winning documentary FREE TO DANCE in 2001. It will be performed by contemporary dance students as part of the Winter Dance concert at 8 p.m. Feb. 21-23 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 24. Also on the program are George Balanchine’s La Source, a world premiere by School of Dance alumna Emery LeCrone, and a special presentation from the Forsythe Project in which former Forysthe dancer Douglas Becker leads a repertory exploration referencing his many years in the creative process with William Forsythe. (For information, please visit http://www.uncsaevents.com/events_detail.php?g=755e3c9dfeba.)
Bill T. Jones studied classical ballet and modern dance at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. After living in Amsterdam, he returned to SUNY, where he became co-founder of the American Dance Asylum in 1973. In 1982 he formed the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (then called Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company) with his late partner, Arnie Zane.
He has created more than 140 works for his own company in addition to commissioned works for modern and ballet companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, and Berlin Opera Ballet. In 1995, Jones directed and performed in Degga, a collaborative work with Toni Morrison and Max Roach at Alice Tully Hall, commissioned by Lincoln Center’s Serious Fun Festival. His collaboration with Jessye Norman, How! Do! We! Do!, premiered at New York's City Center in 1999.
He has choreographed for Houston Grand Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Munich Biennale, New York City Opera and Boston Lyric Opera.
Jones has been recognized with the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award; the Wexner Prize; the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; the Dance Magazine Award; the Harlem Renaissance Award; and the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award. He has received multiple New York dance and performance Bessie Awards for his works The Table Project, The Breathing Show, and D-Man in the Waters, and for his company's groundbreaking season at the Joyce Theater in 1986. In 1980, 1981 and 1982, Jones received choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1979 he was granted the Creative Artists Public Service Award in Choreography. In 2000, the Dance Heritage Coalition named him "an irreplaceable dance treasure."
Jones was profiled on NBC Nightly News and The Today Show in 2010 and was a guest on the Colbert Report in 2009. He was featured in HBO’s 2010 documentary series Masterclass, which follows notable artists as they mentor aspiring young artists. In 2009, he appeared on one of the final episodes of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, discussing his Lincoln suite of works. Additional television credits include Bill T. Jones: Still/Here with Bill Moyers for PBS in 1997, and Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land (1992) and Fever Swamp (1985) for the PBS series Great Performances.
He was one of 22 prominent black Americans featured in the HBO documentary THE BLACK LIST in 2008. In 2004, ARTE France and Bel Air Media produced BILL T. JONES SOLOS, highlighting three of his iconic solos from a cinematic point of view.
He has received honorary doctorates from Yale University, Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, Columbia College, Skidmore College, The Juilliard School and Swarthmore College, and a distinguished alumni award from SUNY-Binghamton.
As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.