Bill T. Jones

Director/choreographer, dancer
With his artistry and creativity, Bill T. Jones has inspired a generation of dancers, choreographers — and audiences.

Why you should listen

In 1982, Bill T. Jones co-founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with his partner Arnie Zane. As the company’s artistic director and choreographer, Jones has created more than 140 works, and in 2011, merged his company with New York’s historical Dance Theater Workshop to create New York Live Arts. The company’s 2015 piece Analogy/Dora: Tramontane is based on Jones’ mother-in-law’s recollections of life under the Nazi occupation of France.

Jones is a 1994 MacArthur Fellow; he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010 and the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2013. He has won two Tony awards for Best Choreography, for the Broadway musicals Spring Awakening in 207 and Fela! in 2010. Jones is the author of a memoir, Last Night on Earth, and Story/Time, a reflection on his 2012 piece inspired by the work of John Cage.

What others say

“Bill T. has constantly pushed the envelope of what dance can be. In extraordinary pieces such as Blauvelt Mountain, Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land, Still/Here, and Fela!, he has incorporated a unique spiritual sensibility into the movement and message of his work.” — Huffington Post

Bill T. Jones’ TED talk

More news and ideas from Bill T. Jones

How This Talk Came To Be

Bill T. Jones and two TED Fellows create a work of art … in two days

May 7, 2015

Three artists. One five-minute performance. Less than 48 hours. No, this is not a math problem. It was the scenario presented to choreographer Bill T. Jones, cellist Joshua Roman and vocalist Somi at the start of the TED2015 conference. June Cohen, TED’s executive producer of media, offered a challenge to these three: Could they craft […]

Continue reading
Live from TED

Creative ignition: A recap of Session 7 of TED2015

March 18, 2015

Bill T. Jones performs a collaborative improv with music from cellist Joshua Roman and vocalist Somi, at TED2015: Truth and Dare, Session 7. Photo: Bret Hartman/TED Where does creativity come from? In Session 7 of TED2015, we explore its bounds in design, art, dance, music, data visualizations and urban planning. Stay beginners. “As humans, we get used […]

Continue reading

Your mega summer reading list: 200 books recommended by TEDsters

May 31, 2013

Books can entertain, sucking you like a tornado into incredible new worlds. Books can teach, giving you a richer understanding of time periods, people and ideas you’ve never been exposed to. But books can do so much more. In today’s talk, TED’s own Lisa Bu introduces us to the concept of “comparative reading,” the practice […]

Continue reading