Jones, Stew, Rodewald & More Featured In New Wall Street Journal Article
On August 18th, The Wall Street Journal continued their Summer Scoops Live series at Lincoln Center, this time with guests that included PASSING STRANGE's Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Choreographer Bill T. Jones, and Jones' collaborators Bjorn Amelan and Janet Wong. The evening was moderated by the WSJ's Wendy Bounds.
Many topics were discussed during the gab-fest, including love, art, and collaboration.
Stew shared that he believes "(Collaboration) is knowing each other and knowing what you do and knowing how you move and how you sound and how you sing. It's trust."
Bill T. Jones, choreographer and director of the upcoming FELA! on Broadway, discussed the "spiritual malaise" he feels as an artisT. Jones suggested that perhaps the key to avoiding this burnout is to take his self-interest out of his art and relax his ego. Stew seemed skeptical: "Relax your ego?" he says. "I'm going to have to think about that one. That's like saying, ‘Relax your penis.'"
To read the entire WSJ feature, and view video clips of the discussion, click here.
Stew rocked Broadway the way it never had before when his musical, Passing Strange, opened in 2008. It won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and made a star out of its writer, Stew, and his writing partner, Heidi Rodewald. Stew and Rodewald return to American Songbook (they performed in the series in 2003) with music from their early career and the band they founded in 1995, The Negro Problem. The group was ironically named to highlight the music industry's problems with an all white band fronted by a black man whose influences were not only Stevie Wonder but also Stephen Sondheim. Stew's discography includes four recordings with The Negro Problem, and another four as Stew, two of which were named Album of the Year by Entertainment Weekly: Guest Host and The Naked Dutch Painter and Other Songs.
Bill T. Jones is a 2007 Tony® Award winner and the recipient of the 2007 Obie Award and 2006 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation CALLAWAY Award for his choreography for Spring Awakening, the recipient of the 2007 USA Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship, the 2006 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Choreography for The Seven, the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, the prestigious 2005 Wexner Prize, and the Aaron Davis Hall Harlem Renaissance Award. He is also a MacArthur "Genius" Award recipient in 1994, named one of America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000, and was awarded The 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for which recipients are considered trailblazers who have redefined their art and reshaped the cultural landscape. He began his dance training at the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY), where he studied classical ballet and modern dance. After living in Amsterdam, Mr. Jones returned to SUNY, where he became co-founder of the American Dance Asylum in 1973. Before forming Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982, Mr. Jones choreographed and performed nationally and internationally as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane.
In addition to creating more than 100 works for his own company, Mr. Jones has received many commissions to create dances for modern and ballet companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Axis Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berkshire Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet and Diversions Dance Company, and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company's The Flight Project. He has also received numerous commissions to create new works for his own company, including premieres for the American Dance Festival, the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music and for St. Luke's Chamber Orchestra. In 1995, Mr. Jones directed and performed in a collaborative work with Toni Morrison and Max Roach, Degga, commissioned by Lincoln Center's Serious Fun Festival and with Jessye Norman, How! Do! We! Do! which premiered at New York's City Center in 1999 as part of Lincoln Center's Great Performers New Visions series. The Breathing Show, Mr. Jones' evening long solo, toured for three years, and his second solo show, As I Was Saying..., toured for more than two. He has directed and choreographed for theatre and opera, most recently choreographing Off-Broadway for the New York Theatre Workshop's production of The Seven for which he was awarded the 2006 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Choreography and for the Broadway musical Spring Awakening.