Anchored in a contemporary tradition of formal structures and layered austerity, choreographer Ralph Lemon's work has a mysterious vitality, an intellectual sensuality and a richness of spirit that emanates from his unpredictable imagination. Having questioned the established models of the touring dance company and the proscenium stage, four years ago Lemon set out to create an alternative project-oriented model made up of diverse collaborators interested in committing to the life of a particular work's process, in film, video, and the literary arts, as well as in choreography. Currently at work on, and performing in Geography, a trilogy of dance/theatre performances made in concert with vernacularly-based dancers, musicians, and art makers from parts of Africa, Asia, and the United States, Lemon is prospecting new, loaded terrain.

"I am deeply interested in how my American formalism, and the nationalism that it implies, clashes, intersects, manipulates and is manipulated by the art and life aesthetics of distinct world cultures. I have been gradually stripping away layers of my old dance form with the help of artists whose lives and work demand from me a new way of thinking, seeing and moving. What I once viewed as boundaries have become artistic and philosophical border crossings. At the same time, the boundaries between other realms­racial, political and cultural­and my own concerns as a human being and as a performing artist are being crossed and re-crossed."

   Born 1952 Cincinnati, Ohio
   Lives in New York City

   1975 B.A., English Literature and Theatre Arts, University of Minnesota
   1985-95 Artistic director, Ralph Lemon Company
   1995-present Artistic director, Cross Performance*
1997- Geography, Part 1: Africa [Geography, Part 2: Asia, Spring 2000. Geography Part 3: America, Premiere: 2002-2003]
1999 Three, a film collaboration with Isaac Julien and Bebe Miller
1996 Konbit, video documentary collage, created in collaboration with Lionel Saint Pierre, Dan El Diaz and Zao.
1996 Persephone, dance book collaboration with photographer Philip Trager
1995 Threestep (Shipwreck), choreographed and performed with Viola Farber
1993-5 Killing Tulips
1993 Their Eyes Rolled Back in Ecstasy, group and solo versions
1992 Phrases Almost Biblical
1991 Folkdance/Sextet
1990 Joy
1999 National Theatre Artist Residency Program Grant, Theatre Communications Group
1995-7, 92-4, 86-8 National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships
1998, 92, 86 New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowships
1988 Gold Medal, Boston International Choreography Competition
1987 American Choreographer's Award
1987 New York Dance and Performance Award ["Bessie"]

*Cross Performance has been supported by numerous grants, including awards from The New York State Council on the Arts, The Jerome Foundation, the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest/Theatre Fund, The Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Philip Morris Companies and Metropolitan Life Foundation.