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Experimental Dance Project

The Experimental Dance Project (EDP) celebrates dance through interaction with professional artists and project-based learning. The EDP brings outstanding dance artists to perform, lecture, dialogue, teach and create with CSUSM students. Importantly, the EDP offers cutting-edge training and performance opportunities by hosting dance artists across the spectrum, including people of color, Latinx, Black, and LGBTQ identities. The EDP embraces our campus’ mission of inclusivity.  

FALL 2020: Ishmael Houston-Jones will be a visiting Guest Artist

Ishmael Houston-Jones

Ishmael Houston-Jones is choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed world-wide. He has received three New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards for collaborations with writer Dennis Cooper, choreographers Miguel Gutierrez and Fred Holland and composers Chris Cochrane and Nick Hallett. Houston-Jones curated Platform 2012: Parallels which concentrated 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.

Ishmael Houston-Jones is on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, The Experimental Theater Wing and University of the Arts, School of Dance in Philadelphia. As an author his essays, fiction, interviews, and performance texts have been published in several anthologies. 

Houston-Jones' work has been supported by The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

SPRING 2021: Mayfield Brooks will be a visiting Guest Artist 

Mayfield Brooks

Photo Credit: David Gonsier 

 Arts & Lectures presents: 
Mayfield Brooks in Improvising While Black 
Date: 2/18/2021

Mayfield is a movement-based performance artist, vocalist, urban farmer, teacher, and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. their work was recently featured in the NY Times as one of 7 “must see” dance performances. mayfield’s work is multidisciplinary, political and intensely visceral/visual as it engages issues of race, gender, culture, identity and community as they are expressed in shifting contexts. The work bridges the fields of dance, social justice, and performance through a personal embodied perspective that is both specific and inclusive. mayfield gives voice to urgent issues and perspectives of our time as they connect the present to the past and future. As a strong African-American dance artist/activist mayfield works to empower underrepresented voices in dance, performance, writing, and education.   

In Mayfield’s words: Improvising While Black (IWB) is an interdisciplinary dance project and dance improvisation experiment which grew out of artist mayfield brooks' multifaceted inquiry into the creation of spontaneous movement, racial representation, survival, and a collective of dreams and desires for a different future. IWB finds futurity in the hustle, the fugitive, the ancestor, the queer outlaw, the flesh, and improvisatory modes of dance as resistance. It seeks to rupture settler colonial logic, anti-black violence, and other ideas that perpetuate an industrial complex mentality. IWB is currently housing multiple projects such as: performances, workshops, & gatherings around the globe as well as the artist residency that is currently being developed in upstate New York.”  

For more information,  visit Brooks’ website:  

NOTE: These events/residencies are co-sponsored and made possible with the generous financial support by Arts & Lectures and Steve and Laura Wagner and The Epstein Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by Dance Studies. 

Download the Dance Studies Events Schedule for Spring 2021!