GUEST ARTIST SERIES: KEITH HENNESSY
“Keith Hennessy’s stage presence burns; he ignites any subject he tackles. Sacred, violent, and compassionate impulses shape our everyday lives; it is through a genius like Hennessy, though, that we can confront the state of the human contradiction.”
– Katia Noyes, San Francisco Weekly
Velocity is thrilled to bring San Francisco based experimental performer Keith Hennessy for a one-night-only event. Hennessy performs Bear/Skin, which premiered January 2015 at the performance festival American Realness. Bear/Skin is a dance that is politically motivated by the tension between killer cops and virgin sacrifice, between indigenous culture and modernist appropriation. It has (almost) nothing to do with gay bears and everything to do with The Rite of Spring, teddy bear shamanism, the reconstruction of ritual bear dances, action movies, suicide economics, and the poetry of springtime.
“Yes there will be bear dances that have little to do with gay bears and everything to do with Le Sacre du Printemps, native bear dances, teddy bears, mylar mountains, springtime in the northern hemisphere, the land I grew up on and where my parents are buried, and the land I now live on where my uncle and many others are buried. But it’s mostly also about dancing, and how dancing implicates history, ritual, appropriation, and the paradox of settler and indigenous… Come to heal and be healed, or not.”
Bear/Skin premiered at American Realness January 2015.
WORKSHOP SERIES: STATES, TASKS, RITUALS
with KEITH HENNESSY
SAT MARCH 12 / 1-5PM
University of Washington Dance Department Meany Hall
Suggested Donation, sliding scale $30-$48 / FREE for
Current UW Students
RSVP appreciated, but walk-ups accepted
Four hours of dancing aka body experiments aka kinetic meditations and bodily actions aka a dance class for (angry hurt anxious sad) people. Moving and talking about contemporary dance in the (apocalyptic) era of neoliberal crisis, permanent war, fascist democracy, and the white supremacist capitalist heterocispatriarchy that motivates #blacklivesmatter.
about the artist
KEITH HENNESSY was born in a mining town in Northern Ontario, Canada, lives in San Francisco, and works regularly in Europe. He is an award-winning performer, choreographer, teacher and organizer. Hennessy directs Circo Zero, a laboratory for live performance that plays with genre and expectation. Rooted in dance, Hennessy’s work embodies a unique hybrid of performance art, music, visual and conceptual art, circus, and ritual.
Hennessy was a member of Sara Shelton Mann’s legendary Contraband (85-94), as well as the collaborative performance companies CORE (95-98) and the France-based Cahin-caha, cirque bâtard (98-02). His work is featured in several books and documentaries, including Composing While Dancing (Melinda Buckwalter, U of Wisconsin: 2010), How To Make Dances in an Epidemic (David Gere, Univ of Wisconsin: 2004), Gay Ideas (Richard Mohr, Beacon: 1992), and Dancers in Exile (RAPT Productions, 2000). Hennessy is a co-founder of 848 Community Space/CounterPULSE a thriving performance and culture space in San Francisco.
Awards include the United States Artist Kjenner Fellowship (2012), a Bilinski Fellowship (2011), a NY Bessie (2009) for Crotch, two Isadora Duncan Awards (2009) for Sol niger, a Goldie (2007) and the Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship in Dance (2005). In 2009-10, Keith was awarded residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Djerassi. Commissions include National Dance Project (Turbulence 2012), Arsenic, Lausanne (Crotch, 2008), Centre ChorÈgraphique National, Belfort (Sol niger, 2007), Les Subsistances, Lyon (Sol niger 2007, Homeless USA, 2005), Les Laboratoires, Paris (American Tweaker, 2006), FUSED (French-US Exchange in Dance), and Lower Left Performance Co, San Diego (Gather, 2005). Hennessy teaches internationally at festivals, universities and independent studios. Teaching since 2009 includes UC Davis, imPulsTanz/Vienna, TSEH/Moscow, Circuit Est/Montreal, Hub 14/Toronto, AEx-Corps/Dakar, Stary Bowar/Poland, Movement Research/NY, Tanzfabrik/Berlin, University of Dance & Circus/Stockholm.
>> WATCH Keith’s Post-Show Conversation at Velocity on our blog STANCE
>> WATCH Preview – “Bear / Skin Preview 2014.”
READ Review – “Keith Hennessy / New York, Abrons Art Center.” Abbe Schriber. Art in America Magazine. April 14, 2015.
READ Review – “At Abrons, Avant-Garde With Bear Costumes.” Paddy Johson. ARTFCITY. January 16, 2015.
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