One of Those Rare Artists Who Speaks Well about Art, Including Their Own – Chorerographer Bill T. Jones

It’s beautiful and painful; which is what I want from art. . . . I’m not afraid of aging, but [I do consider] the idea of what is success in life, what is a life well spent.

–Bill T. Jones

NPR
Music Interviews
Winter Songs: Bill T. Jones Picks Schubert’s ‘Winterreise’
December 13, 2011

As cold weather descends on most of the country, we’re asking for winter songs — songs that evoke the season, and the memories that come with them. So far in our series, we’ve heard some lighthearted or slightly wistful tunes, but this next song goes to a far icier place. It’s the choice of the celebrated dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones.

His winter song comes from “Winterreise,” — or “Winter Journey” — by Franz Schubert. It’s a song cycle about a solitary traveler in a savage winter whose heart is frozen in grief. Jones chose the last song in that song cycle: “Der Leiermann,” or “The Hurdy-Gurdy Man.”

(read more, and listen)

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Abraham Lincoln’s Legacy
Celebrated In Dance

NPR – Talk of The Nation
September 21, 2009

(LISTEN!)

As a child, choreographer Bill T. Jones says he was only allowed to love one white man unconditionally: Abraham Lincoln. Now, he has created a piece for the Ravinia Festival to commemorate the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, called “Fondly Do We Hope … Fervently Do We Pray.”

Bill T. Jones, with Michelangelo’s “Slaves”
(click image to visit his dance company’s website)

I don’t think I was setting out to add. I was actually setting out to investigate something . . . I wanted to say. It’s very important that your listeners understand that this work is as much about making art as it is about Lincoln, because you must realize that I am a “formalist”. I am a person that comes from a generation that taught us the greatest thing that you can give to an audience is an awareness of their perceiving mechanism.

- Bill T. Jones

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