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Ishmael Houston-Jones, Ralph Lemon, and Bebe Miller

A woman pivots on her left leg, raising her right knee and ducking her head, her long dreadlocks swinging forward her as she turns.

Bebe Miller

Photo: Julieta Cervantes


Performing together for the first time as a trio, legendary shapers of experimental dance—with over 10 Bessie Awards between them—Ishmael Houston-Jones, Ralph Lemon, and Bebe Miller come together for two one-of-a-kind improvised performances. Part family reunion and part first-time encounter, they pay homage to their past selves, gesture to the futures of dance that they have inspired, and testify to their present-tense artistry. These longtime peers, friends, and icons have not shared a stage since the early 1980s, when Houston-Jones organized a series of solo and duet performances highlighting the then under-discussed intersection of black choreographers making “non-mainstream dance.” After nearly 40 years of influencing each other from afar throughout their prolific careers, the kinship between Houston-Jones, Lemon, and Miller unfolds in real time on the MCA Stage in two bare-bones improvisations that bring together each artist’s living, embodied archives and their individual relationships to performing and making dance.

The performance is accompanied by a related publication that features poems, drawings, and previously unpublished writing by the artists, in addition to photos from their personal archives and a commissioned text by dance writer and poet Claudia La Rocco.