Meet Bill T. Jones – Dancing Activist

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VIA:  TheGrio.Com

A revolution can occur in many ways. Some choose to protest with marches and picket signs. Bill T. Jones chose dance.

The acclaimed dancer and choreographer has informed audiences on race, politics and sexuality in modern dance productions around the world for over thirty years.

Born in Florida, Jones has said that growing up during the 60s and 70s, many of leading voices in the social movements of the time were artists who expressed their beliefs through their work. Jones started his dance career as a theatre major at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he trained under famed dance instructor Percival Borde.

Shortly thereafter, Jones would meet up with his dance and life partner Arnie Zane, creating provocative choreography that showed subjects like homosexuality and racism, which were revolutionary at the time. In 1982, the two dancers would take their innovative choreography to new heights with the founding of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Company. Although Zane died from AIDS in 1988, Jones not only carried on the company’s torch, by expanding his work into the field of opera, musical theater and television with the Alvin Ailey Company and PBS, but also became one of the world’s most respected choreographers. Many of his dance interpretations have stood out over for the years for testing the boundaries of modern dance.


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