Ralph Lemon: How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?
Art Department Spring 2009 Lecture Series
How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?
Ralph Lemon is a founding member of The Mixed Blood Theater Company of Minneapolis and was a member of the Wigman-inspired environment of the Nancy Hauser Dance Company. He formed Cross Performance/Ralph Lemon Company in 1985, which for 10 years performed worldwide as a touring dance ensemble, receiving numerous residencies, commissions, and grants as well as critical and popular acclaim. In 1995, Lemon dissolved his touring company and re-conceived Cross Performance, Inc. as an organization dedicated to the creation of new forms of performance and presentation. Cross Performance, Inc. produces performances, films, videos, exhibitions, publications, and workshops presented throughout the world. Lemon has been working on The Walter Project, an ongoing series of works in various art forms that he develops in collaboration with Walter Carter, a 100-year-old African-American man who has lived his entire life in Bentonia, Mississippi. The Walter Project has expanded to include other Bentonia residents and is being formalized as The Mississippi Institute, a structure through which local residents can participate in the development and production of interdisciplinary, experimental work. Lemon was awarded a 2005 “BESSIE” (New York Dance and Performance Award) and was selected as one of 50 artists to receive an inaugural United States Artists Fellowship. Lemon was honored with a 1999 CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts and was invited to be a participant in the National Theatre Artist Residency Program. He won a 2004 NYFA Fellowship and was a 2004 fellow at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. In 2004, he was a George A. Miller Endowment Visiting Artist at the Krannert Center. Lemon received a bachelor of arts in English literature and theater arts from the University of Minnesota.