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Bill T. Jones

Posted: 06/29/2007

Skidmore offers front-row seats for dance legend’s summer visit Acclaimed for his boldly original movement and theatrical flair, dance icon Bill T. Jones brought his troupe back to Skidmore for a three-week residency June 3-23, his third such visit since 1992. Jones’s choreography for the Broadway musical hit, Spring Awakening, had just won him both a Tony and an Off-Broadway “Obie” award, and while at Skidmore, he earned yet another prestigious honor: induction into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs.

During the residency, his ten-dancer company won high praise for their performance of Jones’s full-evening dance work, Another Evening: I Bow Down, at the Egg in Albany. They also taught repertory and composition to 34 young dancers in the residency’s intensive workshop and polished a major new Jones dance work called A Quarreling Pair. (Co-commissioned by Skidmore, the work will premiere in December as part of the company’s 25th anniversary.) A special work-in-progress showing of A Quarreling Pair at Skidmore’s Bernhard Theater — complete with live music, lighting, and a clever suggestion of a set—was a highlight of the new SaratogaArtsFest, whose packed inaugural weekend showcased visual and performing arts throughout Saratoga Springs.

Among the residency’s array of public events were an open company rehearsal, a dance master class, tai chi workshops, and an evening with director/choreographer David Gordon, the 1970s movement theater pioneer who is collaborating with Jones on his new work. To wrap up the residency, the dance students performed a powerful excerpt from Another Evening: I Bow Down and showed off original short dance works of their own, based on Bill T. Jones’s repertory and movement philosophy.