Keith Hennessy dances in and around performance. Born in northern Ontario, he lives in San Francisco since 1982 and tours internationally. His performances engage improvisation, ritual, 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 collaborators include Peaches, Meg Stuart, Scott Wells, Jassem Hindi, and the collaboratives Blank Map and Turbulence. He teaches in universities, independent studios, and festivals including Ponderosa, Fresh, HZT, Movement Research, Portland State University, Sandberg Institute, and Impulstanz. Awards include the United States Artist Fellowship, a NY Bessie, multiple Isadora Duncan Awards, and a Bay Area Goldie. Keith’s writings have been published in Movement Research Journal, Performance Research (UK), Society of Dance History Scholars Journal, Dance Theatre Journal (UK), Contact Quarterly, Itch, Front, and In Dance. Hennessy directs Circo Zero and was a member of Contraband with Sara Shelton Mann. He earned an MFA and PhD from UC Davis. www.circozero.org
Ishmael Houston-Jones has been one of contemporary dance’s most vital improvisers, collaborators, and contributors for over three decades. His work THEM (2010) explored “some ways men are with men” (The Village Voice). Recast with a new generation of male performers, it was a provocative reimagining of his 1986 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane. Also a scholar, he is the subject of two book chapters: “Speech as Act,” in Dances that Describe Themselves (Susan Leigh Foster), and “Crossing the Great Divides” in Taken by Surprise (Ann Cooper Albright and David Gere). As a performer, he has appeared worldwide in his works and in the work of artists such as Miguel Gutierrez, Keith Henessy, and Patrick Scully. He curated Platform 2012 Parallels: Black Choreographers and Postmodernism at Danspace Project, and returns in 2016 with Lost and Found, probing the generation of artists lost to AIDS and the legacy of that loss. He teaches at New York University and University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He is a recipient of the 2016 Herb Alpert, a 2015 Doris Duke Impact and a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artists Awards.
CLASSES + WORKSHOPS
Michelle Boulé is a Brooklyn-based, “Bessie” Award winning dance artist, teacher, and BodyTalk Practitioner. Her research includes ongoing studies of traditional and contemporary views on somatics, healing and the physical expression of consciousness. Her recent dances include “The Monomyth” (2017), “White” (2015), and “WONDER” (2013). She has received commissions from The Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, ISSUE Project Room, Zenon Dance Company, Eugene Lang College, Trevor Day School, Latvian Academy of Culture, and the Universities of Oregon and Illinois. Her dances have also been presented recently by River to River, American Realness, “Come Together: Surviving Sandy,” Mount Tremper Arts, The Kitchen, and Movement Research at Judson Church, and have toured to Dublin, Latvia, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Her collaborative duo with cellist Okkyung Lee has been presented by The Met Breuer, send+receive festival (Canada), The Stone, ISSUE, JACK, and MoMA Junior Associates. Awards: NYFA Choreography Fellowship, Cloud Prize, Boekelheide Creativity Award, Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, DanceWEB. Residencies: Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Bemis Center, LMCC Extended Life Dance Development, collective address, Movement Research, BAX Space Grant, DanceHouse (Ireland), and SKITE (France). Boulé is most noted for her performance work with Miguel Gutierrez (2001-2015), Deborah Hay, and John Jasperse. She has taught at dance institutions throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. michelleboule.com
Joy Davis is a dance artist, educator, and scholar. Under the moniker joy davis project, she produces collaborative and location-based dance performance since beginning in 2006. She was a Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) Greenhouse Artist, received a choreographic residency at the Workspace for Choreographers in Virginia, and has premiered work through various residencies in Northampton, Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Knoxville, Seattle, Philadelphia, and San Diego. She is currently creating a new work for New Dialect in Nashville, TN. She collaborates with Mountain Empire Dance Collective, School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, and most recently with Sarah Gamblin and Matthew Cumbie. Joy began training in the Countertechnique with founder Anouk van Dijk in 2005 and completed the CTTT teacher’s certification in 2012 and 2016. She has taught Countertechnique workshops at Gibney Dance (NYC), Moving Target (Boston), BodyVox (Portland), Fact/SF (CA), New Dialect (TN), Mocean Dance (Halifax, NS), Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, and looks forward to joining the faculty at the American Dance Festival for the summer of 2017. Joy received an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Smith College and has since taught on faculty at Smith College, Wesleyan University, Harvard University, and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Alice Gosti is an Italian-American choreographer, hybrid performance artist, curator and architect of experiences, working between Seattle and Europe since 2008. Gosti’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, commissions and residencies including being a recipient of the 2016 NEFA National Dance Project Production and Touring grant, 2013 Vilcek Creative Promise in Dance, 2012 ImPulsTanz danceWEB scholarship, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture grant, and an Artist Trust GAP Grant. Gosti’s work has been commissioned and presented nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, theaters and festivals. Dance Magazine has described Gosti’s work as “unruly yet rigorous, feminine yet rebellious, task-like yet mischievous.“ Gosti has worked as a performer and collaborator with artists Sara Shelton Mann, Keith Hennessy, Carolyn Carlson, Mark Haim, amongst others. She is the founder of Yellow Fish // Epic Durational Performance Festival, the only festival dedicated exclusively to durational performance.
Jasmine Hearn is a choreographer and dancer. A native Houstonian, she graduated magna cum laude from Point Park University with her B.A. in Dance. Jasmine travels around the country to showcase her choreographic work and to participate in diverse dance projects. Currently, she is a collaborator and performer with Alisha Wormsley, David Dorfman Dance, Helen Simoneau Danse, and Tara Aisha Willis. To learn more about her please visit jasminehearn.com
Donna Mejia As a transnational fusion dance artist, Donna Mejia distinctive aesthetic dialogs the secular dances of North Africa and the Arab World with American Hip Hop dance and sub-genres of electronic dance/music culture. Donna also teaches the Brazilian Silvestre Dance Technique and is a lauded representative with over twenty years of practice. In October of 2011 she was selected by the Fulbright Association to present the 2011 Selma Jeanne Cohen Endowed lecture for International Scholarship in Dance, notably for her paper “Digital Diasporas and Transnational Dance Communities: The Effects of Internet Usage on Identity Formation and Collective Cultural Memory.” Donna has been guest artist in residence for eighteen colleges, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Smith College on full fellowship. She joined the University of Colorado at Boulder’s dance department in 2012 as the first Assistant Professor of transnational fusion dance globally. She is also an affiliate faculty member for the Women and Gender Studies Program, the Ethnic Studies Program and is trained as an ethnomusicologist. In 2015, her collaborations and solo performances have been shown at the venerable LaMaMa Theatre and Apollo Theatre of New York City, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. She is part of the Bella Gaia educational development team, and choreographing for new stage works by writer/director Cara Cruikshank in Paris. She balances her time teaching and touring internationally to teach, lecture, and perform for private sponsors, festivals and community organizations. Donna Mejia
Jennifer Polins is a curator, mobilizer, movement practitioner and performance maker, bridging somatics -performance practices- and contemporary dance techniques for over 25 years. Jen is the founding director of The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (http://www.scdtnoho.com/), holds an MFA in dance from Hollins University/The American Dance Festival and is a 2014 MCC choreographic fellow. She has danced professionally in America and Europe, starting with the Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and then the Zurich Operahouse Ballet companies before migrating to a professional career in contemporary performance art. Jen is specialized in rigorous Improvisational practices and worked closely with many mentors most notably- Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson. Jen is certified in Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yoga and Massage. She is guest lecturer in the Five College Dance department currently teaching UMASS. She is the co founder of Wire Monkey Dance (http://www.wiremonkeydance.com/) where produced over 20 productions throughout America, Europe and Asia. Jen lives between Berlin and Northampton where she creates work, curates artists, connects communities and teaches. With SCDT, Jen is in close collaborative relationships with San Francisco’s La Alternativa ( http://www.la-alternativa.us/), Boston’s New Movement Collaborative (https://newmovementcollaborative.com/), Northampton’s Community Arts Trust(http://www.northamptonartstrust.org/) and Earthdance (http://www.earthdance.net/). Jen is working on the creative team of the Ponderosa TanzLand Festival beside Stephanie Maher. She has collaborated most recently with Maurice Fraga, Joy Davis, Jen Nugent, Stephanie Maher, Peter Schmitz, Sarah Shelton Mann, Paul Matteson and James Morrow.
Lisa Race spent much of her career as a performer, teacher and choreographer in New York before heading north to Connecticut. She received a Bessie in 1995 as a member of David Dorfman Dance (1989-2000) and continues as a guest with the company. Her work has been seen at the former DTW, Danspace Project, Dancenow and MR at the Judson Church in NYC. Race is an Associate Professor of Dance at Connecticut College, having joined the faculty in 2007 after receiving an MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ADF. She has given workshops and/or made dances at many destinations around the country and beyond, including ImpulsTanz (Austria), Kalamata Festival (Greece), France, Denmark, England, Hong Kong, Argentina, Sweden, Finland and Russia, as well as at the Bates and American Dance Festivals. Race’s film collaboration with Shawn Hove, Folded, has been screened at the Sans Souci Festival, Dance For Reel, and Light Moves Festival of Screendance. She is currently choreographic assistant to David Dorfman for a production of Assassins at Yale Repertory Theater.
Joy Mariama Smith is a native Philadelphian currently based in Den Haag, NL. Their work primarily addresses the conundrum of projected identities in various contexts. A sub-theme, or ongoing question in their work is: What is the interplay between the body and it’s physical environment? Rooted in socially engaged art practice, they are a performance/installation/movement artist, activist, facilitator, curator and architectural designer. They have a strong improvisational practice spanning 20 years. When they choose to teach, they actively try to uphold inclusive spaces.
Hana Van der Kolk makes dance-centric performances, events, videos and writing that investigate community/collaboration and how thought shapes moving, how moving shapes thought, and how being thoughtful movers might positively destabilize our notions of gender, sexuality, work, nature, and politics. Hana is based in Troy, NY, where she co-hosts the bi-monthly fundraiser dance party, Polly, and is a contributing member of communityLAB. She also works in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Hana has taught and performed internationally and collaborates with numerous artists including Asher Woodworth, Tomislav Feller, and Senem Pirler. She holds an MFA in Dance from UCLA and is greatly influenced by her work with Deborah Hay, Guillermo Gomez Pena, and the Body Weather Laboratory.
Lailye Weidman is a choreographer, dancer, and writer. She teaches improvisation and dance studies in academic and community settings and is an assistant editor for Contact Quarterly. Her recent projects include Showman Revisited, an homage to the resonance of hardcore music; Social Animal Please Tame Me (2016), an ensemble dance theater work investigating consent and consensus; birthing room (2015), a solo tracing textures of place and displacement; and Dike Dance (2014), a site-specific performance and community dialogue in collaboration with scientists at the Cape Cod National Seashore. She is part of Femmelab, a queer research and movement collective; and she collaborates with the Movement Party to produce Fleet Moves, an annual site-based dance festival on Cape Cod.
Lailye received a BA in dance from UCLA and an MFA in dance from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Her work has been shown at the Domestic Performance Agency, Movement Research, and the New School in New York City, Anatomy Riot and Pieter PASD in Los Angeles, CounterPulse and Joe Goode Studios in San Francisco, Green Street Studios and the Aviary Gallery in Boston, and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Champaign, IL. She has been an artist-in-residence with the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLAND), at Hothouse UCLA, and the SEEDS Festival at Earthdance.
Tara Aisha Willis is a dance artist, PhD candidate in Performance Studies at NYU and after several years as an administrator for programming and diversity initiatives at Movement Research, recently became Associate Curator of Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She currently performs in a collaboration between choreographer Will Rawls and poet Claudia Rankine, and in works by Kim Brandt, Megan Byrne, and Yanira Castro. She was part of the first performance by The Skeleton Architecture, a collective of black women and gender non-conforming dancers and improvisors, and was archivist/dramaturg for an in-process collaboration between Ni’Ja Whitson and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko. Her choreography has been shown at Movement Research at Judson Church, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Roulette, THROW, Dixon Place, The Painting Center, AUNTS, the CURRENT SESSIONS, Center for Performance Research, and Draft Works at Danspace Project. She was a 2009 Dance Theater Workshop Van Lier Fellow, a 2016 Chez Bushwick Artist in Residence, co-curator of the Movement Research Festival Spring 2016: Hand Written Note(s), and recipient of NYU’s 2017 Stefanos Tsigrimanis Artistic Scholar Award. Currently Women & Performance’s performance reviews editor, she served as TDR’s co-managing editor, and co-edited, with Thomas F. DeFrantz, an issue of The Black Scholar on black dance studies (2016). Other writings appear in Movement Research Performance Journal, The Brooklyn Rail, Magazin im August, Voices from the Bush, and Performa Magazine (forthcoming).