TRY Team: Ishmael Houston-Jones, Keith Hennessy, Snowflake Calvert (Yoeme, Mayan), jose e. abad, Kevin O’Connor​

The TRY team’s collaborative work circles around the crises and potentials of land, healing, movement, consent, ownership and solidarity. We seek a soft experience where land acknowledgement and fascia can be woven into a single conversation. Where bodies are energies and powers at the same time, always entangled within the ecologies from which they emerge. By learning about each other, we become more aware of ourselves and the many contexts, contagions, and beings that shape and are shaped by our time together.

Artist Bios:

Ishmael Houston-Jones is an award winning choreographer, improvisor, author, performer, teacher, and curator. Drawn to collaborations as a way to move beyond boundaries and the known, he celebrates the political aspect of cooperation. Houston-Jones curated hugely influential platforms historicizing Black experimental dance and the impact of AIDS on dance.

Snowflake Calvert (she/her) is a Two-Spirit performance artist of Tzeltal Mayan (Chiapas, MX) and Yaqui (Sonora, MX/Arizona) heritage. As an indigenous artist, professional dancer, drag artist, and entrepreneur she has produced drag events throughout California curating a vehicle for political, social, and cultural activism through the artistry of her radical queerness.

Kevin O’Connor (he/him) is a multidisciplinary artist working as a choreographer, dancer, improviser, circus artist and installation artist from Ontario, Canada and now based in the Bay area. He is involved in a decade-long artistic collective exploring participatory de-colonizing performances within polluted watersheds in Ontario.

jose e. abad’s (they/them) artistic practice is rooted in collaboration and community-engaged arts as a form of resistance and liberation. Through dance and storytelling, they examine the relationships between the self and our physical, social, and spiritual environments in order to rip apart the constricting narratives imposed by external forces and create space for the complex and nuanced existence of queer, black, and trans* people of color.

Keith Hennessy (he/she/they) is a dancer, organizer, choreographer, and writer. Born in northern Ontario, he is a white hybrid of Irish diaspora, French and British colonialism. He lives in San Francisco/Yelamu since 1982 and tours internationally. His performances engage improvisation, ritual, collaboration, and protest as tools for investigating political realities.


MELT Faculty

Past Classes & Events

[Virtual] TRY/ING: Collaboration, contagion, and ______________.

Jul 19 – Jul 23, 2021

[Virtual] MELT – TRY/ING

Jan 18 – Jan 22, 2021