Durham, NC, March 11, 2024 – Renowned educator, performer, and choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones will receive the 2024 Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching and its $5,000 honorarium at the American Dance Festival (ADF) on Sunday, June 30 in Durham, NC.

“I am honored to announce Ishmael Houston-Jones as the recipient of this year’s teaching award. As an educator, he pushes students to take risks, allowing them to discover that their abilities to create and find beauty in this world are boundless,” said Nile H. Russell, ADF’s Director of Education. “It becomes evident to any observer of Houston-Jones that he thrives off the energy he receives from teaching, which makes it a vital part of his practice.”

Ishmael Houston-Jones, who taught in the ADF School for many years, is an adjunct professor at The Experimental Theater Wing of NYU/Tisch School of the Arts and a master lecturer at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He has taught at prestigious institutions worldwide, including the California Institute of the Arts, Impulstanz in Vienna, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the New York University Department of Dance/Tisch School of the Arts, and Playwrights Horizons. As an artist and educator, he is an innovator of improvisational practices.

Beyond his teaching, Ishmael Houston-Jones is a choreographer, author, performer, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York, the US, and worldwide. As an author, Houston-Jones’s essays, fiction, interviews, and performance texts have been published in several anthologies. Further, he sits on the Movement Research and Performance Space New York board of directors.

Ishmael Houston-Jones has won four New York Dance and Performance Awards, including the “Bessie” for Service to the Field of Dance in 2020. He is a 2022 recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a 2021 recipient of the United States Artists Fellowship. He received the 2019 Edwin Booth Award, given annually by the Doctoral Theatre Students’ Association of the City University of New York. His work has also been supported by The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2013), The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (2015), The Herb Alpert Foundation (2016), The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (2018), and The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation (2020). Houston-Jones curated Platform 2012: Parallels, which focused on choreographers from the African diaspora and postmodernism, and co-curated with Will Rawls Platform 2016: Lost & Found, Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now.

Photo by Marc Poucher

Katrin Deil

ADF’s 2024 performance season will take place from June 13 to July 28 in Durham, NC, with additional pre- and post-performances happening in April, September, and October across the Triangle. The full performance schedule will be announced on March 20. Tickets to ADF performances will go on sale on April 23, 2024. Tickets can be purchased online at americandancefestival.org or the Duke University Box Office.

About ADF:
Throughout its 91-year history, the American Dance Festival has been the home of an art form, attracting artists, audiences, and thousands of students worldwide. By preserving our modern dance heritage, promoting the creation of new works and collaborations, educating generations of dancers through intensive training programs, supporting artists at all stages of their careers, presenting live and screen dance to the public, and developing humanities and international exchange programs, ADF has served as a laboratory for experimentation and innovation. ADF was founded at the Bennington School of Dance and moved to Connecticut College in 1948. For the past 47 years, ADF has taken pride in calling Duke University and Durham home. Since 2012, ADF has managed its first year-round facilities, the Samuel H. Scripps Studios, offering movement classes for students of all ages and abilities, as well as choreographic residencies and outreach programs throughout the community.