Photo credit: Aleksey Bochkovsky

Kelly Keenan — Dancing in dialogue

April 29th to May 3rd, 2024 – 9:30 am to 12:30 pm (Mon.-Fri.)
Full week rate : $85
Drop-in class rate : N/A
Language of instruction : English
Questions can also be asked in : French
Open to artists of all disciplines but geared towards dance and movement artists and educators.



The mask could be mandatory for some activities as an accessibility measure for our teachers or participants. For more information, click here.


This workshop shares some of the ways in which my movement practice and dance teaching have been shaped in dialogue with contemporary anatomy, feminist science studies, sensory anthropology and somatic approaches to movement and ‘danced’ explorations. What is common in all of these fields is that they resist universalizing hypothesis of the body while celebrating difference and multiple ways of knowing.

This workshop is in-part a laboratory, and in-part a ‘classic Keenan class’. In the lab part, I will bring in some theoretical nuggets as prompts for discussion and both the sharing and generating of practices amongst participants. In the ‘classic Keenan class’, I will lead a movement based class that slides from somatic explorations, to danced explorations including 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 class part.

In the lab part, participants have full discretion apropos the physical intensity and complexity of the work. It is a mix of discussion, movement exploration and small group exchanges. In the class part, 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, ask for memory of short sequences, explore improvised movement, propose co-ordination challenges and some which are physically rigorous (eg/ tricky or cardiovascular). 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. The workshop 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 a contemporary dance artist, teacher, event organizer, administrative elf and Mother based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. Working in the field since 2001, Kelly continues to perform for independent choreographers and to co-create work that forwards the felt (or somatic) experience over what may be observed. Her career has been notably invested into exploring different approaches to dance training. Kelly’s own teaching has been uniquely shaped by somatic approaches to movement, contemporary anatomy and feminist frameworks for situating these practices and what they do when we dance with them. In 2013, Kelly began the Montreal Movement Educator’s Forum, an event that gathers and celebrates diversity of practices. Having recently assumed a position as Professeure en pratiques artistiques at UQAM’s Département de danse Kelly now puts lots of heart into teaching and supporting dance artists and teachers in training.

Kelly’s practice has been a dance practice I have cherished for many years. This work will always enrich my skills as a professional dancer.

– Zoë Vos