Keith Hennessy by Ian Douglas

KEITH HENNESSY (SF) — Dancing Magic Together

Feb. 10 to 14, 2020 – 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.)
$75 with the support of *Emploi-Québec (or $145, non-eligible rate)
$17 drop-ins unless full (or $31, non-eligible rate)
Open to artists of all disciplines / In English
Capacity: 25 people, priority for full week attendance

**Please bring a blanket**

A five-class series exploring the poetics, politics, and potentials of dancing together. Working mostly in duets but also solo, trio, group, we enter a laboratory of making and unmaking. We will dance more than talk supported by ritual technologies of divination, ancestors, elements, care, and prayer. We’ll consider the symbolic and metaphoric aspects of dancing together as well as the real intimacy of what is happening right here and now. Engaging decolonial and queer-feminist practices of consent and collaboration this will be a futurist laboratory that knows that another world is possible and it will be improvised.

 Magic involves poetic and embodied action in a ritualized context to influence both consciousness and material realities. The pretend influences the real. Working with dancing, somatics, tarot, and spell crafting we will create a laboratory of activist magic. We’ll include indigenous land acknowledgement as a necessary act of healing, education, and respect. How can bodies and imaginations be decolonized and healed? How can dancing respond to anxiety and trauma? What are the potentials and pitfalls of wicca on colonized land?

 The class will draw on Keith’s ongoing work including dancing objects, fake healing, negotiating power, while prioritizing intuitive and embodied responses to political crises.

Keith Hennessy dances in and around performance. Born in Sudbury (Ontario), he lives in San Francisco since 1982 and tours internationally. His performances engage improvisation, rituals, collaboration, and public action as tools for investigating political realities. Practices inspired by anarchism, critical whiteness, post/Modern dance, activist art, the Bay Area, Wicca, punk, contact improvisation, and queer feminism motivate and mobilize Hennessy’s work. Keith’s 2016-17 collaborators include Peaches, Meg Stuart, Scott Wells, Jassem Hindi, J Jha, Annie Danger, Gerald Cassel, and the collaboratives Blank Map and Turbulence. Keith’s recent teaching in universities, independent studios, and festivals includes Ponderosa (Germany), FRESH (SF), HZT (Berlin), Movement Research (NYC), Impulstanz (Vienna), Portland State University, Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam), St. Mary’s, VAC Foundation (Moscow), and Warsaw Flow International CI Festival. Awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, United States Artist Fellowship, a NY Bessie, multiple Isadora Duncan Awards, and a Bay Area Goldie. Keith’s writings have been published in Contact Quarterly, Movement Research Journal, Performance Research (UK), Society of Dance History Scholars Journal, Dance Theatre Journal (UK), Itch, Front, and In Dance. Hennessy directs Circo Zero and was a member of Contraband with Sara Shelton Mann. Hennessy is a co-founder of CounterPULSE (formerly 848 Community Space) a thriving performance space in San Francisco. He earned an MFA and PhD from UC Davis. 

All workshops are for professional performing artists. Some require advanced dance training.

Registration – Please contact (514) 393-3771 or at To reserve your spot, payment is required 2 weeks before the start of the workshop.

Payments – check, cash, credit card (3% fee) or by Interac transfer (write to for procedures)

Who can benefit from the subsidized rate by Emploi-Québec?
– Artists or cultural professionals, Canadian citizens or permanent residents living in Montreal
– Foreign workers with a temporary work permit living in Montreal
– Employment Insurance or social assistance recipients are welcome (please notify your agent at Service Canada or MTESS)

– Part-time students

 Who has to pay the full rate?
– People residing outside Montreal
– Full-time or foreign students

Reimbursement policy– No reimbursement possible without a good reason (ex: sickness or injury).

Studio’s accessibility – Consult this page for detailed information.