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On Stage: Ishida Dance at Long Center for the Performing Arts

Ishida Dance Company presents the world premiere of "Mutability"

402 Maddie Medina in ISHIDA Dance’s ‘green apples’ Photo by Amitava Sarkar

We last wrote about choreographer Brett Ishida and her company, Ishida Dance, back in the summer of 2023. At the time, this rising star was getting ready to debut her company’s having been breathed out, a collaboration with Asia Society Texas, at locations in Texas including Austin’s Dell Fine Arts Center. The program featured the world premiere of an Ishida original narrative entitled American Gothic, as well as works by Greek choreographer Andonis Foniadakis and Romania-born Edward Clug.  

Brett Ishida at Asia Society Texas Center (Photo by  Amitava Sarkar)

This month, Ishida Dance again stages a commissioned piece at Asia Society Texas Center, presenting two works in the world-premiere program “Mutability,” both described as poetic narratives. The first is green apples, a formidable four-woman performance; the second is the titular mutability, featuring text from Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. The avant-garde program taps two notable international guest choreographers: confirmed at press time Canadian Kirsten Wicklund, making her U.S. debut.

Juliet Doherty in _keepsake_ by ISHIDA(1)
Juliet Doherty in _keepsake_ (photo courtesy of ISHIDA Dance)

In the past few years, Ishida Dance has added a Houston base of operations, hired Jamal Madden as managing director, and scored a Houston Arts Alliance grant. All this momentum arrives when the nonprofit, which was founded in Austin in 2019, has been awarded what Ishida calls the equivalent of a James Beard Award for dance: inclusion in Dance Magazine’s annual influential “25 to Watch” list this past year. Ishida Dance is the sole U.S. company featured. This honor was no doubt fostered by a recent commission for Ishida to create a work for The Washington Ballet, led by artistic director Julie Kent (now Houston Ballet co-artistic director).

Stay tuned for Ishida Dance’s upcoming world premiere December 6 in the Houston Ballet’s Jubilee of Dance series. 

Ishida Dance’s “Mutability” will be performed at the Long Center for Performing Arts on June 12 – 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $50,