U.Va. Brings Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Back for a Week of Events

October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011 — Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will be Artists in Residence at the University of Virginia from Nov. 6 to 11. Their visit completes a three-part U.Va. residency during which Jones and company researched and developed a new dance-theater work.

The residency leads off with the University's annual Arts Assembly, "Creative Exploration and the University." Jones will discuss his artistic process, from creative inspiration to final production, with filmmaker Gordon Quinn following a screening of two documentaries, "A Good Man" and "100 Migrations." These films chronicle Jones's exploration and creation of the Lincoln-inspired dance-theater piece "Fondly Do We hope ... Fervently Do We Pray."

The residency week culminates with a performance of another work inspired by Lincoln, "Serenade/The Proposition," at Charlottesville's Paramount Theater. This performance concludes the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's three-year international tour of the production. For this final performance, Jones himself will take part.

"The week will be a culminating moment of Bill T. Jones's past, present and future in Charlottesville," said Elizabeth Hutton Turner, U.Va.'s vice provost for the arts. "By using this place for the development of new work, he has exposed its potential for creative research. U.Va.'s history, memory and setting foster this type of research, which Mr. Jones has made visible.”

"It is rare for a university to sustain a dialogue with an artist over an extended period," Turner said. "In the last three years, it has intensified with specific projects resulting in original works of art. Bill T. Jones has galvanized our community with fresh insight into the creative process."

The Tony Award-winning Jones was also U.Va.'s Artist in Residence in 2008. His first residency focused on creating one of three dance-theater works that commemorated the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

Jones is an internationally renowned artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer. His countless honors also include a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award and Kennedy Center Honors. In 2009, Jones was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Jones co-founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982 with his late partner, Arnie Zane.

Among the many events during his upcoming residency, these are open to the public:

• Arts Assembly: "Creative Exploration and the University," with screenings of "A Good Man" and "100 Migrations"
Nov. 6, 4 p.m., Culbreth Theatre
As part of the Virginia Film Festival's celebration of 45 years of Kartemquin Films, two films that profile Jones' works for the Abraham Lincoln bicentennial (including "100 Migrations," his 2008 collaboration with U.Va.) will be screened. A discussion with Jones and filmmaker Gordon Quinn will follow. Tickets for U.Va. students are free and can be reserved through the Arts Box Office online, in person or by phone at 434-924-3376. 

University faculty and staff can reserve a free ticket only in person at the Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Drama Building. A U.Va. ID is required and only one free ticket will be issued to each person.

The general public can purchase tickets online.

• Community Master Class with Janet Wong
Nov. 7, 6:30-8 p.m., Memorial Gymnasium
The modern dance technique class, led by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company associate artistic director Janet Wong, will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and will be capped at 30 participants. There is no advance registration for this event.

• Interview with Julian Bond and Bill T. Jones
Nov. 8, 10-11:30 a.m., Auditorium, Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library
Julian Bond, former national chairman of the NAACP and U.Va. history professor, will interview Jones as part of the University's Explorations in Black Leadership oral history series. Seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis; attendees are asked to arrive 15 minutes early and will be asked not to leave during the 90-minute event.

• Open Rehearsal
Nov. 8 and 9, 5-6 p.m., Culbreth Theatre
The event is an opportunity for University and community members to get a sneak peak at the Company's new work, "Story/Time," which includes music composed and performed by Ted Coffey, an associate professor in the College of Arts & Sciences' McIntire Department of Music.

"Story/Time" will have its formal premiere at Peak Performances @ Montclair State University in New Jersey in January. "Story/Time" is co-commissioned by Monclair State and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

•    Bill T. Jones: "Still/Here" with Bill Moyers
Nov. 8; 5:30-7:15 pm, Jordan Conference Center Auditorium
This screening of the 1997 documentary video about Bill T. Jones's landmark dance-theater work on mortality and the spirit of survival, "Still/Here," will be followed by discussion led by fourth-year medical student members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The film, by Bill Moyers, follows Jones's cross-country journey to work with and learn from individuals grappling with serious illness.

• Medical Center Hour
Nov. 9, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Jordan Conference Center Auditorium
Jones will discuss the film "Still/Here" during the Medical Center Hour. Jones will speak to learning from those facing mortality, the meaning of illness and the making of memorials. The event is free and open to the public.

• Work-in-progress showing of "Story/Time"
Nov. 10, 6:30-8 p.m., Culbreth Theatre
Free tickets must be reserved for the event.
"Story/Time" is the capstone event to Jones's 2011 residency at U.Va. Throughout the week, the company will continue the research and development of the project with U.Va. professor and composer Ted Coffey. A question-and-answer session will follow.

"Story/Time" will have its formal premiere at Peak Performances @ Montclair State University in New Jersey in January. "Story/Time" is co-commissioned by Monclair State and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

• "Serenade/The Proposition" performance
Nov. 11, 8 p.m., The Paramount Theater
Tickets are available at the Paramount Box Office
The performance draws on the Civil War to examine how we see the past. The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will perform "Serenade/The Proposition" for the final time, concluding a three-year international tour. For this final performance, Jones himself will appear in the production.

— By Lisa Littman

Media Contact

Jane Ford

Senior News Officer U.Va. Media Relations