Hennessy + Houston-Jones 5/26-6/5 | Portier + Maher 6/24-7/3 | Kotze + Singh 7/14-7/24
Keith Hennessy | Lab 1
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 protest as tools for investigating political realities. Practices inspired by anarchism, critical whiteness, post/Modern dance, activist art, the Bay Area, wicca, punk, contact improvisation, indigeneity, and queer-feminist performance motivate and mobilize Hennessy’s work. Keith’s 2016-17 collaborators include Peaches, Meg Stuart, Scott Wells, Jassem Hindi, J Jha, Annie Danger, Gerald Casel, 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.
Ishmael Houston-Jones | Lab 1
Ishmael Houston-Jones is an award winning choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York, across the US, and in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Latin America. Drawn to collaborations as a way to move beyond boundaries and the known, Houston-Jones celebrates the political aspect of cooperation.
Houston-Jones and Fred Holland shared a 1984 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders, which reintroduced the erased narrative of the Black cowboy back into the mythology of the American west. He was awarded his second “Bessie” Award for the 2010 revival of THEM, his 1985/86 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane. In 2017 he received a third “Bessie” for Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other Works by John Bernd. In 2020 he recieved a fourth "Bessie" for Service to the Field of Dance. Houston-Jones is the DraftWork curator for works-in-progress at Danspace Project in New York. He has curated Platform 2012: Parallels which focused on choreographers from the African diaspora and postmodernism and co-curated with Will Rawls Platform 2016: Lost & Found, Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now both at Danspace Project.
Kendra Portier | Lab 2
Kendra Portier is a dance artist - a choreographer and practitioner. Her scholarship lives in embodied study, tested and realized through choreographic processes that shape thought, emotion, and texture through movement. Haunted by basic human themes and concepts that often seem metaphysical, Portier's current body of work is a multi-installment transdisciplinary study of color & choreography - the Color Studies. Her research primarily culminates in live performance, evolving through collaborative processes with her project-based collective, BAND.
Born at home in Ohio, Portier has facilitated and promoted dance across the globe from San Diego to Salzburg, Dushanbe to Athens (Greece, Georgia, and Ohio). She has held faculty and guest artist positions at numerous dance programs with significant and ongoing presence at Gibney Dance Center (NY) as well as Bates Dance Festival (ME). As a performer, Portier collaborates and performs with a range of artists, such as Lisa Race/Race Dance, JasmineHearnCollaborates, Betsy Miller, Sara Hook, Alexandra Beller Dance, Nicole Wolcott Dance, Vanessa Justice Dance, hoi polloi, Annie Kloppenberg, Launch Movement Experiment, and most notoriously, a decade long tenure with David Dorfman Dance. Portier received a BFA with Honors from the Ohio State University and an MFA in dance with specialization in visual design from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Currently, Portier is an Assistant Professor in the School of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she has been awarded the Maya Brin Endowed Professorship in Dance.
Stephanie Maher | Lab 2
Stephanie Maher is originally based in New York and then landed in San Francisco for 15 years. She is known for her breathtaking physicality and for creating works that express a unique blend of intimacy, sensitivity, and wild humor. She has been teaching performance making, Release-based technique and Contact Improvisation in an International setting since 1992. In 1998 Maher relocated to Berlin, Germany where she continued to perform, organize, develop and teach in the community-based settings of K77 Studios in Berlin and founded the Ponderosa Tanz/Land Festival and P.O.R.C.H. in Stolzenhagen, Germany.
Joanna Kotze | Lab 3
Joanna Kotze is a Brooklyn-based, Bessie-award winning dancer, choreographer and teacher. She creates highly physical dance performances through a collaborative, multi-disciplinary process, presenting ways to look at effort, labor, humor, violence, unpredictability, and beauty through movement as well as the body’s relationship to sound, materials, light, and space. Her choreography has been presented at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Wexner Center for the Arts, The Yard, Bates Dance Festival, Opera House Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center, American Dance Institute, New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, Bard College, Jacob’s Pillow, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research at Judson Church, Roulette, and other venues and galleries. She has created new works on Toronto Dance Theatre, Ririe-Woodbury, Zenon Dance, James Sewell Ballet and Gibney Dance. Joanna has had residencies through MANCC, Dance Place, Movement Research, Baryshnikov Arts Center, LMCC, New York Live Arts, 92nd Street Y, Exploring the Metropolis, Jacob’s Pillow, The Camargo Foundation, The Bogliasco Foundation, Milvus Artistic Research Center, Dance Programme Malmö, The Yard, Marble House Project, Djerassi, Bennington College, and Mount Tremper Arts. She danced with Wally Cardona from 2000-2010 and again in 2018 and currently dances with Kimberly Bartosik. Joanna is on faculty at Movement Research and has taught at Gibney Dance, NYU’s Tisch, The New School, Barnard, Purchase, LIU, Bates, Amherst, Sarah Lawrence, Southern Utah University, Miami University, Salt Dance Fest, and the American Dance Festival. She is originally from South Africa and has a BA in Architecture from Miami University.
Paul Singh | Lab 3
Paul Singh earned his BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois, USA. He has danced for Gerald Casel, Risa Jaroslow, Will Rawls, Phantom Limb Company, Stephanie Batten Bland, Douglas Dunn, Christopher Williams, Kathy Westwater, Faye Driscoll, and was featured in the inaugural cast of Punchdrunk’s NYC debut of Sleep No More. While abroad, he was a dancer in Peter Sellars’ opera The Indian Queen (Madrid), as well as Peter Pleyer’s large-scale improvisation work Visible Undercurrent (Berlin). Paul has had his own work shown at multiple venues in NYC, Berlin, and in 2004 his solo piece Stutter was presented at the Kennedy Center. Paul has taught contact improvisation (CI) around the world, and currently teaches varied technique classes (floorwork, CI, contemporary partnering) for Movement Research, Sarah Lawrence College, and The Juilliard School. In 2021, he began his role as Artistic Associate at Baryshnikov Arts Center.