Bill T. Jones appointed Associate Artist 2020

The famous choreographer, director, writer and dancer Bill T. Jones (1952, Bunnell, Florida) will be the associate artist for the Holland Festival 2020. Bill T. Jones will succeed Faustin Linyekula and William Kentridge, who are jointly fulfilling this role for the 2019 festival. 

Bill T. Jones studied classical ballet and modern dance in the 1970s at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Binghampton. After a brief stay in Amsterdam, Jones returned to SUNY where he co-founded the American Dance Asylum in 1973. In 1982 he founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with Arnie Zane. Bill T. Jones has created more than one hundred works for his own company. He has also received major commissions from other companies including the Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet and premieres for the Brooklyn Academy of Music's BAM Next Wave Festival and St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra. His fame in the Netherlands is mainly thanks to two productions: Still Here (Muziektheater, 1996) and Fela! (Holland Festival, 2011). As early as 1981 the Holland Festival staged his work Valley Cottage in a series of dance pieces selected by The Kitchen in New York. He has been the artistic director of New York Live Arts in Manhattan since 2011. Last year, the opera We Shall Not Be Moved, which he directed and choreographed, was performed at the Dutch National Opera. 

Bill T. Jones has received many prizes and awards, including a Tony Award and an Obie Award for Spring Awakening (2006 and 2007), a Tony Award for Best Choreography for Fela!, a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Medal of Arts (2013). He has received honorary doctorates from the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College, Juilliard School and Yale University, amongst others. 

Holland Festival director Annet Lekkerkerker says about his appointment: ‘We are pleased and honoured that Bill T. Jones has committed himself to the 2020 festival. Bill T. Jones has a great track record in both classical and modern dance, opera and music theatre. He will contribute to the 2020 edition with performances and his engagement in consultation with the programming team.’ 

Bill T. Jones about his new role as associate artist: ‘I am curious and breathless at the prospect of being this venerable, essential festival’s Associate Artist for 2020: curious to encounter the audiences for my own work in a European context and breathless at the prospect of representing “the Artist” in this fractious, confusing time in which liberal values and social stability in the USA and in many places around the world are endangered at every turn while a lust for individuality and self-determination drives discourse.’ 

Holland Festival introduced the model of working with associate artists as a new form of collaboration in 2018. The festival is using this model to draw public attention to interesting artists and their work and to give the audience a broad introduction to their work and fascinations. As well as collaborating with associate artists, Holland Festival programmes a variety of high-profile and relevant performances and concerts at every edition.