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THEM AND NOW: Ishmael Houston-Jones with Chris Cochrane and Dennis Cooper

Public Programs

THEM AND NOW: Ishmael Houston-Jones with Chris Cochrane and Dennis Cooper

September 24 – October 14 2010

Over the course of an extended rehearsal process at the New Museum, director/choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones revisited the seminal work THEM, an intensely visceral interdisciplinary collaboration with Dennis Cooper (text) and Chris Cochrane (music), originally presented at Performance Space 122 in 1986. Presented as part of RE:NEW RE:PLAY Performance Residency Series, the rehearsals at the New Museum culminated in a series of programs collectively titled THEM AND NOW, exploring the artistic impulses that propelled the creation of this “aggressive and vital” (Village Voice) performance work and its reconstruction twenty-five years later. Immediately following the New Museum residency, THEM received its 2010 premiere at Performance Space 122, October 21–30, 2010. The production was included on several “Best Of” lists in dance press, including The New York Times.

Ishmael Houston-Jones has been a fixture of the New York dance community for more than three decades. His intensely personal and physically exhausting improvisations helped to redefine the language of dance in the post-Judson Church 1980s and continue to set a standard for authenticity and vulnerability on stage. As a curator, teacher, and writer, Houston-Jones has nurtured the voices of many emerging choreographers, performance artists, and artists from other disciplines, several of whom have gone on to become collaborators.

Residency programming:

Friday, September 24, 7 p.m. - “WINGING IT” IN HIGH HEELS AND A BLINDFOLD
Friday, October 1, 7 p.m. - US V THEM: A Showcase of Young Improvisers
Friday, October 8, 7 p.m. - SOUND CHECK ’86
Thursday, October 14, 7 p.m. - DENNIS AND THE BOYS
Additional open rehearsals “THEM TODAY” during regular exhibition hours

THEM TODAY: Open Rehearsals

Thursday, Sept 30: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, October 3: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday, October 7: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, October 10: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Cast: Joey Cannizzaro, Felix Cruz, Jeremy Pheiffer, Niall Noel, Jacob Slominski, Arturo Vidich, Enrico D. Wey; Lighting Design: Joe Levasseur

THEM TODAY was a series of open rehearsal hours that allowed the public an unprecedented glimpse into the recreation of this seminal work. For the RE:NEW RE:PLAY reconstruction residency, the three creators recast THEM with a new generation of male performers. Is the social/political climate of 1985 so different than that of today? Are the poetics of the work resonated in the same way? What does it mean to revive a work that was largely improvisational? These were some of the questions Houston-Jones and his collaborators were wrestling with in this process