Renowned choreographer Bill T. Jones to speak

Bill T. Jones, artistic director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, will deliver a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in the Chapel. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Jones, the recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant,” will discuss his experience with HIV and AIDS, the reasons he choreographed and performed “Still/Here” and the impact of AIDS on the world of art. His appearance at Bates is part of a series of talks, observances and performances organized by the college under the umbrella of “Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities — Understanding AIDS: Compassion, Education, Justice.”

Jones is the author of the recently published autobiography, Last Night On Earth (Pantheon, 1997). Prior to founding the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982, Jones choreographed and performed internationally as a soloist and as part of a duet company with his late partner Arnie Zane. In addition to choreographing more than 40 works for his own company, he has been commissioned to create pieces for other companies, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Boston Ballet and the Lyon Opera where he was appointed resident choreographer in 1993.

Jones has also directed a number of operatic and theatrical works for the Guthrie Theater, the Houston Grand Opera, the Glynbourne Festival Opera, the Munich Biennale and the BBC. He has been the subject of several documentaries, including The Making of the ‘Last Supper At Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ and a forthcoming PBS production on the making of “Still/Here,” produced by Bill Moyers. Jones and media artist Gretchen Bender have directed a television version of “Still/Here” scheduled to appear in 1996.

Jones’ work often explores the issues of race, sexual orientation and interracial relationships. The poet Maya Angelou said of Jones’ 1995 autobiography: “It is a rare thing for a person to have the courage to live a strenuous and challenging life and be able to find beauty in it. It is more rare, and in this case more valuable, that Bill T. Jones has been able to do the above and dance about it. I celebrate this book, this artistry and this life.”

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