Bill T. Jones | Interview
The Tony-winning choreographer brings a triple bill of early-career, avant-garde works to the Dance Center of Columbia College.
Polarizing, Tony-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones goes back to the avant-garde for Body Against Body, two triple bills of works made between ’77 and ’82 with his partner and their dance company’s cofounder, the late Arnie Zane. A documentary about Jones also hits town for a limited run.
What questions came up while restaging these works?
In Valley Cottage, for example, do the performers really have to be a couple? The Bill character is writing a letter to Arnie’s character, years in the future…. So, if you have [young] people…who only know each other through this company, how do they project into the future?
In July, you told the Television Critics Association that TV dance competitions are “obscene.”
Given…that everything can be commodified, [the question] is, Should everything be commodified?
Kartemquin released a documentary about you in April. What did you think?
Would I rather the title not be Bill T. Jones: A Good Man? …That’s not what I wanted it to say, but that’s what the filmmakers… decided to do. It’s a handsome document and it’s an important teaching document.
What does it teach?
Creation…is a near-sacred thing that you don’t really control. It controls you.
Body Against Body • Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S Michigan Ave (312-369-8330) • Sept 29–Oct 1; $35–$40