ISHIDA Dance Company: 'having been breathed out'VIEW EVENT DETAILS
Friday, June 9, 2023
8 p.m. Program
Saturday, June 10, 2023
8 p.m. Program
Sunday, June 11, 2023
3 p.m. Program
In collaboration with Asia Society Texas, the acclaimed ISHIDA Dance Company (one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch” for 2023) presents the world premiere of having been breathed out. The program includes the world premiere of American Gothic, an original ISHIDA poetic narrative, which explores the internal and external dynamics of the nuclear family. The program also features works by two widely respected European choreographers rarely seen in the U.S.: Horizons by Greek choreographer Andonis Foniadakis and critically acclaimed Mutual Comfort by Edward Clug from Romania. Foniadakis’ work has been commissioned by many top European dance companies over the past two decades, and Clug, an award-winning choreographer and the Artistic Director of Maribor Ballet, has created several works on Stuttgart Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), and others.
“A dazzling modern dance showcase that is stunning and compelling… an incredible boon to the Houston art scene.” – Broadway World, August 2022
“In addition to her (Ishida’s) roles as artistic director and choreographer, Ishida wears another hat as her own dramaturge, and it’s her storytelling ability that truly sets her apart in the industry.” – Houston Chronicle, January 2023
About the Artists
"Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” was painted by Paul Gauguin in 1897 and depicts states of being. Like Gaugin’s painting, ISHIDA Dance Company prompts existential questions. Through dreamscapes built upon poetic narratives, ISHIDA celebrates universal themes of our psyche—betrayal, belonging, loss, and love.
ISHIDA Dance Company presents original ISHIDA narratives as well as works by exciting new choreographers working with some of the most sought-after dancers (Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Juilliard, Ballet BC, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, English National Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, tanzmainz, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani) from Houston and around the world. Choreographers premiere new works as well as past works that have never been performed for local audiences. These unique works aim to invite empathy and introspection to lead to greater kindness towards oneself and the community.
ISHIDA also provides free educational outreach performances and workshops to at-risk youth and marginalized communities to cultivate and enrich appreciation for contemporary dance and to provide engagement opportunities with the art form that nurture self-esteem, collaboration, and social and emotional wellbeing.
Brett Ishida is Japanese-American and grew up on a citrus farm in California’s Central Valley. Her love for dance inspired her to move away from home at age fifteen when she received a full scholarship to the Kirov Academy and later to the School of American Ballet in NYC. She then danced with Boston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, where she first choreographed on the company, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montréal where she toured around the world. At Les Grands Ballets, she collaborated in new creations with choreographers and performed principal and soloist roles in repertoire by Nacho Duato, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián, and Ohad Naharin, among others.
She later graduated from UCLA earning a BA in Literature with emphasis in Creative Writing (Poetry), and MA in Montessori Education. She felt by combining those two worlds from her past, she could be a new voice in contemporary dance and started ISHIDA in 2019.
Already a sought-after choreographer for her work, Ishida was commissioned by venerated ballerina and Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet, soon to be Co-Artistic Director of Houston Ballet, Julie Kent, to create a ballet for their NEXTsteps program which was held in June 2022. In The Washington Post, Pulitzer-prize winning dance critic Sarah L. Kaufman deemed Ishida’s piece home-coming which “tackled a deeply poignant, poetic theme” to be “remarkable.” The work was performed again at The Kennedy Center in November of 2022.
Ishida’s work intertwines reflections of ancient timeless themes of Greek philosophy and poetry with subconscious memories which shape who we are and where we are going. Her company, ISHIDA, creates 'memory houses' for audiences where themes and characters build relationships and familiarity that might pull at our heartstrings in imitation of life’s enigma.
Performing Arts and Culture programs at Asia Society Texas are presented by Syamal and Susmita Poddar. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, and The Brown Foundation Inc. Generous funding also provided by AARP, The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, and the Wortham Foundation. Additional support provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas.
Performing Arts and Culture Presenting Sponsors
Syamal and Susmita Poddar
Performing Arts and Culture Program Sponsors
Japan Series Sponsor
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77004