Keith Hennessy in Conversation

Join Capitalism, Sex, and Magic artist Keith Hennessy (Bear/Skin) in conversation as he talks about his practices, discusses the queer arts ecology, and debates the differences between the cities where he lives and works. Rigorous thinkers and notable personalities, expect a fiery discussion about art, life and the universe. 

Hennessy teaches internationally at festivals, universities and independent studios, including UC Davis, ImPulsTanz (Vienna), TSEH (Moscow), Circuit Est (Montreal), Hub 14 (Toronto), AEx-Corps (Dakar), Stary Bowar (Poland), Movement Research (New York), Tanzfabrik (Berlin), University of Dance & Circus (Stockholm).

This discussion will be moderated by Nader Hasan.

About Keith Hennessy

 Photo by Ian Douglas.

Photo by Ian Douglas.

Keith Hennessy was born in a mining town in Sudbury, Canada, lives in San Francisco, and works regularly in Europe. He is an award-winning performer, choreographer, teacher and organizer. Hennessy directs Circo Zero, a laboratory for live performance that plays with genre and expectation. Rooted in dance, Hennessy’s work embodies a unique hybrid of performance art, music, visual and conceptual art, circus, and ritual. A Queer 20th Anniversary featured Hennessy in two solo performances: Saliva (1988-89) & Crotch (All the Joseph Beuys References in the World…) (2008), as well as How To Die (2005-06), a collaboration with Jules Beckman and Seth Eisen.

Hennessy was a member of Sara Shelton Mann’s legendary Contraband (85-94), as well as the collaborative performance companies CORE (95-98) and the France-based Cahin-caha, cirque bâtard (98-02). His work is featured in several books and documentaries, including Composing While Dancing (Melinda Buckwalter, U of Wisconsin: 2010), How To Make Dances in an Epidemic (David Gere, Univ of Wisconsin: 2004), Gay Ideas (Richard Mohr, Beacon: 1992), and Dancers in Exile (RAPT Productions, 2000). Hennessy is a co-founder of 848 Community Space/CounterPULSE, a thriving performance and culture space in San Francisco. 


  • United States Artist Kjenner Fellowship (2012)
  • Bilinski Fellowship (2011)
  • New York Bessie Award (2009)
  • 2x Isadora Duncan Awards (2009)
  • Goldie (2007)
  • Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship in Dance (2005)

In 2009-10, Keith was awarded residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Djerassi. Commissions include National Dance Project (Turbulence 2012), Arsenic, Lausanne (Crotch, 2008), Centre ChorÈgraphique National, Belfort (Sol niger, 2007), Les Subsistances, Lyon (Sol niger 2007, Homeless USA, 2005), Les Laboratoires, Paris (American Tweaker, 2006), FUSED (French-US Exchange in Dance), and Lower Left Performance Co, San Diego (Gather, 2005). 


 Photo by Andre Guerette

Photo by Andre Guerette

Nader Hasan is an interdisciplinary autodictate, formally trained as a philosopher, art history and studio artist, preferes to not be identified as an artist. Hasan’s material practice draws on an interdisciplinary skill base, including a variety of tanning techniques, bone work, taxidermy, mummification, desiccation, controlled decay, petrification, organ preservation, gathering found, damaged and discarded materials, and the use of ’archaic’ bio-chemical mediations. Hasan experiments with necrological materials and other forms of material waste (collateral damage) from our urban, sedentary, and increasingly globalized, form of societal life-systems.
This work with  found/gathered already dead/decaying necrological materials, and is handled and worked with in an ethical and self-conscious manner, in a process which seeks reflection, antangonism and exploration of the central yet liminal forces at play in our material world, and how they reflect on our cosmology, way of life and political construction of our world and the ways in which we participate in its life and death cycles as well as the waste incurred and often hidden away from our late capitalist lifestyle consumption.

Hasan has spent many years independently researching nomadic architecture models and ecological systems(especially bedouins in the 19th-20th century middle east), as well as a variety of academic speculations on paleolithic life and and premezolithic sciences and labor practices. In addition Hasan loves animals but does not like the trajectory of the commercialization of pets. In his spare time he advocates WORLD PEACE to whoever will listen.

Hasan also likes to play the clarinet and enjoys a large set of other socially unrecognized amateur activities.



60 minutes


Wednesday, May 6 | 6:30 pm


Dancemakers, Studio 314
9 Trinity Street, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M5A 3C4
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