September 16, 2016

Honoring Dance Innovators Lost to AIDS

This article originally appeared in the New York Times.

Over the past few decades, the veteran choreographer and improviser Ishmael Houston-Jones has become something of a godfather to Downtown dance. He is always on the lookout for new talent; beyond that, he is a guide, showing a younger generation how to grasp the bigger picture of the art form. This fall, Mr. Houston-Jones, 65, along with Will Rawls, a 37-year-old choreographer, performer and writer, will oversee Platform 2016: “Lost and Found” at Danspace Project.

Platform, a multiweek series initiated by Danspace’s executive director and chief curator, Judy Hussie-Taylor, addresses a theme or an artist in performances, talks and whatever other events a curator dreams up. This edition, the 11th, will focus on the impact of AIDS on generations of dance artists. What traces remain of these vanished artists? The ambitious and serious “Lost and Found,” running Oct. 13-Nov. 19, features more than 28 events, including a zine project, film screenings, readings and, fittingly, a vigil.

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