Spinster Sisters, Santa Rosa • Ticket: Single $95; Couple $165 (one book)
In this ceaselessly questioning book, acclaimed African American
dancer, choreographer, and director Bill T. Jones reflects on his art
and life as he describes the genesis of Story/Time, a recent
dance work produced by his company and inspired by the modernist
composer and performer John Cage. Presenting personally revealing
stories, richly illustrated with striking color photographs of the
work’s original stage production, and featuring a beautiful,
large-format design, the book is a work of art in itself.
Like the dance work, Story/Time
the book is filled with telling vignettes—about Jones’s childhood as
part of a large, poor, Southern family that migrated to upstate New
York; about his struggles to find a place for himself in a
white-dominated dance world; and about his encounters with notable
artists and musicians. In particular, Jones examines his ambivalent
attraction to avant-garde modernism, which he finds liberating but also
limiting in its disregard for audience response. As he strives to make
his work more personal and broadly engaging, especially to an elusive
African American audience, Jones—who is still drawn to the
avant-garde—wrestles with questions of how an artist can remain true to
himself while still caring about the popular reception of his work.
Bill T. Jones is an acclaimed dancer, choreographer, and
director. He is the artistic director, cofounder, and choreographer of
the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and executive artistic
director of New York Live Arts. He is the recipient of many awards and
honors, including Tony Awards for FELA! and Spring Awakening,
a Kennedy Center Honor, and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2014, President
Barack Obama awarded Jones the National Medal of Arts, the country’s
highest honor for achievement in the arts.
The ticket includes the meal, wine, tax, tip, and a signed copy of the book.