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Dancer, choreographer, and "genius grant" winner Bill T. Jones to discuss his creative process, give master class for Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre. Monday, April 21, 2008

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones will discuss the creative process behind A Good Man, his forthcoming full-length dance piece inspired by the life of Abraham Lincoln, on Monday, April 21, at 6:00pm, in the Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater of Kenyon Hall. Earlier, at 4:00pm, the public may also observe Jones's master class with the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre, in Kenyon Hall Studio 1. Both events are free and open to the public.

A 1994 MacArthur Foundation "genus grant" winner, Jones is a founding figure of collaborative, post-modern choreography. In the early 1980s, his large-scale works with clothing designer Willi Smith and pop artist Keith Haring – mixing video, text, and autobiographical material with contemporary sets, costumes, and body paintings – were performed in venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music and City Center.

Since co-founding the Bill T. Jones/Arne Zane Dance Company in 1982, Jones has created more than 100 works of dazzling innovation, including the New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award-winning D-Man in the Waters (1989 and 2001), The Table Project (2001), and The Breathing Show (2001). Jones has also choreographed for several other distinguished companies, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Axis Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, and Diversions Dance Company.

Jones has also ranged into theater, where he conceived, co-directed and choreographed Mother of Three Sons (performed at the Munich Biennale,), and has directed Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain. He has also directed and performed with Toni Morrison and jazz drummer Max Roach in Degga (1995), and collaborated with opera singer Jessye Norman in How! Do! We! Do! (1995).

Recently, Jones was named a recipient of the 2005 Wexner Prize, the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, a 2005 Harlem Renaissance Award, the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, and the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award in 1991.

The departments of dance, athletics, and physical education, the Carolyn Grant '36 Endowment, and the Jeanne Periolat Czula Endowment are jointly sponsoring Bill T. Jones's visit.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, April 14, 2008