Ishmael Houston-Jones

Updated
30 Nov 2016

Ishmael Houston-Jones is a performer, choreographer, curator of dance and performance as well a writer of fiction and essays. He is the coordinator for the Lambent Fellowships in the Arts, a program of Tides Foundation, which awards $126,000 annually in unrestricted grants to New York City based visual and performing artists. Houston-Jones is also the curator of the DraftWork works-in-progress series at Danspace Project. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York City, across the United States, in Europe, Canada, Australia and Latin America. Nowhere, Now Here was commissioned for Mordine and Company in Chicago in spring 2001 and Specimens was commissioned for Headlong Dance Theater in Philadelphia in 1998. In 1997 he was the choreographer for Nayland Blake’s Hare Follies at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From 1995-2000 he was part of the improvised trio “Unsafe/ Unsuited” with Keith Hennessy and Patrick Scully. In 1990 he and writer Dennis Cooper presented The Undead at the Los Angeles Festival of the Arts. In 1989 he collaborated with filmmaker Julie Dash on the video Relatives, which was aired nationally on the PBS series Alive From Off-Center (Alive TV). Houston-Jones and Fred Holland shared a Bessie (New York Dance and Performance Award) for their Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders. Other major collaborators have been designers Huck Snyder and John DeFazio; photographer Robert Flynt; videographer Cathy Weis; and composers Chris Cochrane, Fast Forward, Tom Recchion and Guy Yarden. He has appeared in the work of John Bernd, Ping Chong, DANCENOISE, Terry Fox, Yvonne Meier, and the John Sayles film, Brother from Another Planet. His work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and Art Matters, Inc.