Noted for its impact across cultural boundaries, the Company’s work has spoken to audiences the world over – from Estonia, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary to Portugal, Taiwan, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela.
“Extreme dance theater of the absurd… utterly whacky inventions.” —Eva Yaa Asantewaa
Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Co. has been presented in New York City by the Joyce Theater, DTW, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, PS 122, Movement Research, Symphony Space and the 92nd St. Y (among others), and on repeated international tours, including performances in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Canada, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela. Now an international group of artists (with recent and current dancers hailing from the US, Greece, Africa, China, Albania & Venezuela), the company has received support from the Guggenheim Foundation, NYSCA, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the US Information Service and State Dept., Artslink, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the Suitcase Fund, the Mary Duke Biddle, Joyce Mertz- Gilmore, Harkness and Greenwall Foundations, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Bill Young, winner of recent Guggenheim and NYFA fellowships, discovered dance through contact improvisation while studying music at Oberlin College. He showed early work in San Francisco, while dancing with Margaret Jenkins, and later moved to New York where he danced with Douglas Dunn, Randy Warshaw, Merce Cunningham (on video). In 1988 he established Bill Young & Dancers, for which he has created over 70 works; his commissions include new works for the Estonian National Opera Ballet, Compagnie de Danse L’Astragale (Montréal), Teória de Gravedad (Mexico), Bratislava (Slovakia) Dance Theater, the Madach Theater (Budapest), Zenon Dance Company (Minneapolis), DanceArt Hong Kong, Core Performance Group (Atlanta), and the Wildspace Dance Company (Milwaukee). He has also taught in Universities and Festivals throughout the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia, and has served as a panelist for Artslink, DTW, ACDFA and NYFA. He currently teaches Contact at the Juilliard School.
Colleen Thomas is a New York based choreographer and performing artist. She began her professional career with the Miami Ballet and went on to work with renowned contemporary choreographers such as Nina Wiener Dance Company, Donald Byrd/The Group, Bebe Miller Dance Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and The Kevin Wynn Collection among others. In 1997 a creative collaboration with Bill Young evolved into an intimate company focused on rigorous physicality and dynamic partnering. Their work has been seen throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. Now interested in focusing on illuminating her vision of contemporary work, Thomas has formed ColleenThomasDance. Thomas received her BA in psychology from SUNY Empire State College and her MFA in Dance from University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus, The New School, Barnard College, Skidmore College, and Bates College. She is currently an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College of Columbia University.
“Daring, eccentric… the sensuality, the tenderness, the sense of adventure seem intrinsic to the moment and anchored to life.”
—Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice