Photo credit: Aleksey Bochkovsky

*FULL* KELLY KEENAN — Head-tail Tales

May 29 to June 2, 2023— 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.)
Full week rate:
*Drop-in class rate:
n/a – full week registration only
Language of instruction:
Questions can also be answered in French
23 people, priority for full week attendance
Open to artists of all disciplines


By registering for a workshop, you agree to cancel your participation if you have symptoms or suspect you may have COVID-19. Please read the Participant Engagement before registering. Thank you!

Head-Tail Tales is a 5 day workshop that riffs off of my MA project “Anatomical Imaginaries.” In an effort to resist universalizing hypothesis of the body through anatomical discourse in movement training, this workshop explores, through a plethora of tales (anatomical and not) that bring the head and tail into relation, how the head-tail is not one thing. This workshop is in-part a laboratory, and, in-part a ‘classic Keenan’ class.  

In the 1st part, I will propose excerpts of texts from Feminist science studies, Sensory ethnography and Contemporary anatomy, to nourish both discussion and practice. Each day I will share an “anatomical imaginary” –a recorded audio description of the head-tail that have been shared with me by different anatomically trained professionals (eg/ osteopaths, craniosacral, chiropractors, physical therapists/educators, dance pedagogues etc…). Together, we will conjure ways to further multiply head-tail tales by dancing them into being and documenting them in a collective writing practice.

In the 2nd part of the class, I will share some ways that I have mobilized some head-tail tales through a range of movement propositions. You may expect some somatic explorations that slide into dancing scores, improvisational games, looped co-ordinations and short phrases gently escalating in athleticism. 

*While I’ve named there is a ‘lab part’ and a ‘class part’ — there is practice in the lab and labbing in the practice. These two parts of the workshop affect each other as intimately as the head and the tail.

Head-Tail tails is divided into 2 parts. In part 1, participants have full discretion apropos the physical intensity and complexity of the work. It is a mix of discussion, listening, open movement exploration and open writing. In part 2, participants still have a lot of discretion around intensity, complexity, form and amplitude. This portion of the class offers different modes of practice, some which rely on verbal prompts, some which rely on demonstration, some which ask for memory of short sequences, some which explore improvised movement. It is helpful to navigate the movement propositions if participants have ease in getting up and down from the floor, and are comfortable moving through space with others. Head-Tail tales may be made accessible to deaf people if an interpreter is present. Those with further questions are invited to contact the instructor by email prior to the workshop. 

Kelly Keenan
is Montreal based dance artist and teacher. She has been teaching in and outside of places dedicated to training, both, locally and abroad for 15 years. Her teaching celebrates movement based learning and dancing together. Strong influences include contemporary anatomy, somatics and manual therapies. As a dancer, Kelly collaborates with several independent choreographers, most recently including Erin Hill and Katie Ward. Kelly is nearing the end of her Masters at Concordia University, braiding together dance training, contemporary anatomy, feminist science studies and sensory anthropology. She also has a history of event organisation (the Nomadic College and Movement Educator’s Forum).