Black Diaspora: Ishmael Houston-Jones

Oct 8, 2022, 10:00 am EDT



Black Diaspora events are open to a Black- or Afro-Latinx-identifying audience only.

Parallels: Black America/Experimental Dance

In 1982, Ishmael Houston-Jones curated the Parallels series, featuring Black choreographers working in new forms. Thirty years later, he revisited that idea in “Platform 2012: Parallels”. In Ishmael’s session of Black Diaspora, he will discuss the importance of Black curation.

About Ishmael Houston-Jones

Ishmael Houston-Jones is a choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed worldwide. He has received three New York Dance and Performance Bessie Awards for collaborations with writer Dennis Cooper, choreographers Miguel Gutierrez and Fred Holland, and composers Chris Cochrane and Nick Hallett; and a fourth Bessie award for his contributions to the field of dance. Houston-Jones curated Platform 2012: Parallels, which concentrated on choreographers from the African diaspora and postmodernism, and co-curated Platform 2016: Lost & Found, Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now with Will Rawls. As an author, Houston-Jones’ essays, fiction, interviews, and performance texts have been published in several anthologies. His first book, FAT and other stories, was published in June 2018 by Yonkers International Press. Houston-Jones is a 2022 recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship. His work has been supported by The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

About Black Diaspora 

Conceived by curator Eva Yaa Asantewaa during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter uprising, Black Diaspora launched its first activities in September 2020 as a Zoom-based peer support program serving up-and-coming, Black-identified dance and performance artists from various cultural backgrounds and aesthetic traditions.

With the support of Gibney, Black Diaspora has offered numerous peer group discussions, workshops led by notable guest artists, and conversations between artists. We celebrate the resourcefulness, accomplishments, and generous wisdom of Black creatives, educators, and activists.

Photo by Mark Poucher.