Arts / Performing Arts

Contemporary Dance Gurus Bring Another World Premiere to Houston — ISHIDA Is Back at MATCH

Stirring Things Up With a Secret

BY // 12.31.22

Renowned contemporary dance company ISHIDA, recently nominated in Dance Magazine’s 2023 “25 to Watch” list, is returning to the Houston stage in January with a new world premiere. “Stirs up still things” will be performed at Midtown Arts and Theater Center (MATCH) from Thursday, January 5 through Sunday, January 8. 

The special premiere was announced at a cocktail reception hosted by ISHIDA at the home of Leslie and Myles Culhane. The reception turned into the kickoff for “stirs up still things.”

This unique dance program includes two movements: “among dim shapes,” which follows a couple and the ghosts they carry, and “Prospero’s magic,” a tender men’s duet inspired by Shakespeare’s Tempest. These narratives will be brought to life with several world-renowned and international dancers that ISHIDA artistic director Brett Ishida selected herself. The star-studded dancers coming to Houston include Jeffrey Cirio, principal at Boston ballet; Caroline Perry, a former Houston ballet dancer; Christian Denice, a Dutch American dancer formerly with Les Ballet Jazz Montreal; and Rench Soriano of the Washington Ballet. 

Christian Denice, a Dutch American dancer formerly of Les Ballet jazz Montreal, will perform in ISHIDA's world premiere "stirs up still things" at MATCH. (Photo by Sean Marier)
Christian Denice, a Dutch American dancer formerly of Les Ballet jazz Montreal, will perform in ISHIDA’s world premiere “stirs up still things” at MATCH. (Photo by Sean Marier)

The program will also includes work from two guest choreographers: John Wannehag, a Swedish dancer and choreographer who will also perform in “stirs up still things,” and Kristian Lever, an award-winning British Finnish choreographer who previously premiered “An Intimate Distance” with ISHIDA last March.

Brett Ishida’s inspiration for this program came from the lyrical fragments of the Archaic Greek poet Sappho, whose work the ISHIDA company portrays metaphorically through dance. Ishida hopes the program provokes conversation and introspection, leading to greater kindness towards ourselves and others.

“You’ll be drawn in by arresting visual images that reveal intimate narratives connecting to our psyche,” Ishida says. “It’s like you see a secret about yourself being reflected on the stage.”

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ISHIDA artistic director Brett Ishida announcing dancers for January 5-8 world premiere at ISHIDA cocktail kickoff for "stirs up still things" (Photo by Emily Jaschke)
ISHIDA artistic director Brett Ishida announcing dancers for January 5-8 world premiere at ISHIDA cocktail kickoff for “stirs up still things” (Photo by Emily Jaschke)

ISHIDA’s 2023 season will also include performances at Asia Society on June 9 to 10, and an exclusive private event in October. “Stirs up still things” will not be performed again after its run at MATCH however.

“Stirs up still things” will be performed at MATCH’s Matchbox 2 from January 5 through 8. You can purchase tickets here. To learn more about ISHIDA, click here.

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