Ishmael Houston-Jones, Dennis Cooper, Chris Cochrane


Presented in association with the New Museum and tbspMGMT

“One of the most genial survivors of the eighties avant-garde” – The New Yorker

“Mr. Houston-Jones clearly has a strong, sure sense of theater.” – Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times

“There’s no knowing if the upper hand is what either really wants.” – Burt Supree, The Village Voice (on Them)

Ishmael Houston-Jones, whose intensely physical improvisations have been a staple of New York’s contemporary dance scene for over three decades, sparked controversy in 1986 at Performance Space 122 with THEM. Made in collaboration with Dennis Cooper (text) and Chris Cochrane (music), this incendiary work addressed some of the many ways men could be with men. After a successful run of the work-in-progress at PS122 in 1985 the creators of THEM felt that the urgency of the AIDS epidemic demanded a presence in this piece about men with men. In the 1986 premier of the full-length version for six male dancers at PS122 Cooper read his own provocative words, and Cochrane played cacophonous electric guitar live; frequently violent and exhausting dance sequences, culminated in a horrific duet between Houston-Jones and an animal carcass on a dusty mattress. The production almost got PS122 shut down.

Through a reconstruction residency at The New Museum, the three creators have recast THEM with a new generation of male performers. Rehearsals of THEM at the New Museum culminate in a series of programs collectively titled THEM AND NOW, exploring the artistic impulses that propelled the creation of this “aggressive and vital” (Village Voice) performance work and its reconstruction 25 years later.

As part of PS122’s 30th Anniversary Season, this ground-breaking piece is back and investigating its continuing relevance to dance and to social discourse in 2010.

2010 Cast: Joey Cannizzaro, Felix Cruz, Jeremy Pheiffer, Niall Noel, Jacob Slominski, Arturo Vidich, Enrico D. Wey
Lighting designer: Joe Levasseur


‘Them’ is supported in part by TestPerformanceTest and developed through the RE:NEW RE:PLAY residency series at the New Museum

325 Bowery, New York, NY

Photo courtesy of Dona Ann McAdams

Performance Space 122, 1986
Dance, Theatre | Upstairs

Thursday, October 21 – Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday – Saturday at 8PM,
LATE SHOWS: Saturdays at 10PM
Thursday Night Social: October 21
$20, $15 (students/seniors)

4 special events at the New Museum
leading up to the 2010 premiere of Them

Friday, September 24 at 7

Friday, October 1 at 7
US V THEM: A Showcase of Young Improvisers

Friday, October 8 at 7

Thursday, October 14 at 7

Open rehearsals of Them
September 22 – October 5
Free with New Museum entry

Help PS122 Go Green by viewing your THEM program online!

  • A survey of contemporary performance!

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