Houston-Jones, Ishmael

Ishmael Charles Houston-Jones
Part Time Lecturer, the Arts

The improvised dance and text work of Ishmael Houston-Jones has been performed in New York City, across the United States, in Europe, Canada, Australia and Latin America.  Ishmael Houston-Jones' Nowhere, Now Here was commissioned for Mordine and Company in Chicago and Specimens was commissioned for Headlong Dance Theater in Philadelphia.  He was the choreographer for Nayland Blake'sHare Follies at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  He and writer Dennis Cooper presented The Undeadat the Los Angeles Festival of the Arts.  He collaborated with filmmaker Julie Dash on the video Relatives, which was aired nationally on PBS. Houston-Jones and Fred Holland shared a New York Dance and Performance "Bessie Award” for their Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders.
Courses Taught:
Lang at Judson Church
Research Interests:
  • Writer,
  • Improviser
  • Choreographer
  • Performer
Professional Affiliations:
President, Board of Directors at Movement Research; Curator, DraftWork Series at the Danspace Project at Saint Mark’s Church; Faculty, American Dance Festival 
Recent Presentations/Exhibits:

Houston-Jones's essays, fiction, interviews, and performance texts have been anthologized in the books:

  • Conversations on Art and Performance (Johns Hopkins, 1999); 
  • Footnotes: Six Choreographers Inscribe the Page (G+B Arts, 1998);
  • Caught in the Act: A Look at Contemporary Multi-Media Performance (Aperture, 1996);
  • and Out of Character: Rants, Raves and Monologues from Today’s Top Performance Artists (Bantam, 1996).
  • Ishmael Houston-Jones is a subject of the chapter Speech as Act in the book Dances that Describe Themselves by Susan Leigh Foster (Wesleyan University Press, 2002).

His work has also been published in the magazines: Movement Research Journal; Contact Quarterly; Real Time; Mirage, and others.


Awards and Honors:

New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award

Choreography Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the Ford Foundation, and Art Matters

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