Bill T Jones

December 29, 2010 by Post Team 

Bill T Jones, An Ex-soloist with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Martha Graham in school and Jose Limon technique, Houlihan remembers as everyone living on the making of modern dance in the United States.

Now on the faculty at Florida State University, Houlihan left an indelible mark in South Florida during his stint as a professor at the New World School of the Arts and artistic director of the Miami-based Houlihan and Dancers in 1990s. His legacy will be celebrated with a retrospective at the Florida Dance Association Winterfest on Thursday.

There is no greater evidence of the influence that Houlihan’s imminent rise of his favorite pupil, Robert Battle, now artistic director for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. “Robert is the person who reminds me more of myself early in my career,” Houlihan beams on the phone from Tallahassee. “He was always able to dance movements with the style, phrasing and nuances that I saw in my mind.”

Testimony is also the former Houlihan dancer Jennifer Nugent, now with the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company and a choreographer celebrated in his own right. She will return to the stage in Miami for the show as a guest artist with Nugent is frequent collaborator Paul Matteson.

In general, Houlihan remembers more about the dancers, she has worked with the dance she conceived. “I am very grateful for the many incredible dancers were an important part of society, and also responsible for my development as an artist,” she said. “I hope people will feel that deep connection and joy of dance.”

So it is no wonder that it pays homage to his teachers as well. “Anthony Tudor, my teacher at the Juilliard School and an outstanding choreographer, was a huge influence,” she said of the Brit who played a crucial role in the formation of the American Ballet Theater. “His musicality, wit and ability to find connections between classical ballet and contemporary dance make him ahead of his time.”

On his way to see the new Natalie Portman film Black Swan, tried to do for ballet what Psycho did for showers Hitchcck, Houlihan said the time for dance innovator has come. “Dance is everywhere now,” she exclaims. “The old models of training and creative work are constantly being challenged. Personally, I am always happy to see pure dance, simple, committed, intelligent, sincere of all kinds!”

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