Program Type: 
Keith Hennessy/Circo Zero

Turbulence (a dance about the economy)

September 27, 2012 - September 29, 2012
YBCA Forum


Keith Hennessy/Circo Zero
Turbulence (a dance about the economy)
Thu, Sep 27 –Sat, Sep 29  •  8 pm  •  YBCA Forum
Advance tickets: $20 Regular  •  $20 students, seniors, teachers
Thrifty Thursday, Sep 27 only: All seats $10

At the door: $30 Regular  •  $25 students, seniors, teachers
$20 YBCA members

Post-show Q&A on Fri, Sep 28

"Keith Hennessy's stage presence burns; he ignites any subject he tackles. Sacred, violent, and compassionate impulses shape our everyday lives; it is through a genius like Hennessy, though, that we can confront the state of the human contradiction."
— Katia Noyes, San Francisco Weekly

“Hennessy is that rare artist who succeeds in translating fierce social concerns into artistically satisfying creations that enlighten and entertain. Against all odds he believes in art's power to reassume its ritualistic and healing function.”
— Rita Felciano, SF Bay Guardian

“Unstable structures supported by unsustainable systems, this dance cannot stand up on its own. Turbulence (a dance about the economy) is a bodily response to economic crisis.”
— Keith Hennessy

A member of Sara Shelton Mann’s legendary Contraband performance troupe, Keith Hennessy has been a revolutionary and influential force in the Bay Area’s performance community for more than 25 years. In response to both the recent economic and ecological crises, his newest work, Turbulence (a dance about the economy), was instigated before the recent Occupy Wall Street uprising. Like the Occupy movement itself, Turbulence plays with and disregards the generally accepted rules of engagement. A collaborative creation, the work is a hybrid of contemporary dance, improvised happening and political theater and is intended as both a provocation and affirmation of the current global movement for economic justice. It is an experiment not only in performance, but also in developing alternative modes of producing performance. Integrating new cast members for each performance, Turbulence resists fixed or predetermined outcomes; improvisation is seen as both a survival strategy and political tactic.

Created and performed by:
Julie Phelps, Emily Leap, Laura Arrington, Jesse Hewit, Jorge Rodolfo De Hoyos, Hana Erdman, Gabriel Todd, Ruairí O'Donovan, Empress Jupiter, Jassem Hindi, and Keith Hennessy.

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  • Turbulence (a dance about the economy)
    Sep 27, 2012 7:00pm
    Sep 28, 2012 7:00pm
    Sep 29, 2012 7:00pm
    YBCA Forum
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Related Programs

September 29, 2012 - 6:30pm - 10:30pm

If a YBCA performance is dinner, then Smart Night Out is the appetizer and the dessert. Smart Night Out is part workshop, part happy hour date, and part backstage sneak peek. This month features Turbulence (a dance about the economy) by Keith Hennessy.

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Curator Statement

Turbulence instigates more than questions of patriotism and equity, it also launches YBCA’s Civic Unrest series, a mediated platform for artists to challenge YBCA’s own political and spatial norms, unbinding the building from its own institutional preciousness. We look to Mr. Hennessy’s record of artistic and educational leadership as a signpost that might indicate a way forward, both for his own prodigious talents and radical foresight, and also for the Bay Area’s politicized dancemakers. Through this work, YBCA and its astute audiences re-energize the quest for furtive language to embrace a rumbling underground train of thought, a recalibration of the word “occupy” from its static connotation to an active reframing as modern movement.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Director of Performance
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Artist Bio

Keith Hennessy
Keith Hennessy was born in a mining town in Northern Ontario, Canada, lives in San Francisco, and works regularly in Europe. He is an award-winning performer, choreographer, teacher, and organizer. Hennessy directs Circo Zero Performance, a laboratory for live performance that defies 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 features Hennessy in two solo performances, Saliva (1988–89) and Crotch (all the Joseph Beuys references in the world…) (2008), as well as How To Die (2005–06) in the collaboration with Jules Beckman and Seth Eisen.

Hennessy was a member of Sara Shelton Mann’s legendary Contraband (1985–94), as well as the collaborative performance companies CORE (1995–98) and the France-based Cahin-caha, cirque b‚tard (1998–2002). His work is featured in several books and documentaries, including 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.

Recent awards include two Isadora Duncan Awards (2009) for Sol niger, a Goldie (2007) and the Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship in Dance (2005). In 2009, Keith was awarded residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Djerassi. Recent commissions include 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). Keith’s teaching includes the University of San Francisco, UC Davis, Zipfest (Italy), imPulsTanz (Vienna), TSEH (Moscow), Circuit Est (Montreal), and IDA (Toronto).

Circo Zero Performance
Instigated by Keith Hennessy in 2001, Zero Performance and Circo Zero make live performance sparked by current and historic social realities. The work is interdisciplinary and experimental, operating within the tensions between intimacy and spectacle, rhetoric and ritual, personal and social. Rooted in contemporary dance and performance we also engage circus, theatre, music, visual and conceptual art. Under the influence of queer ideas, aesthetics and histories, Zero Performance evolves performance language and builds community through collaboration, crossing lines of artistic discipline, personal and cultural identity, and social expectations. Zero Performance participates in local and global struggles for justice, functioning as a collective space and public laboratory.


 From YBCA Curator Marc Bamuthi Joseph on Twitter:

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YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
Abundance Foundation
Koret Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Lam Research

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

YBCA Performance 12-13 is made possible in part by:
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Additional Funding for YBCA Performance 12-13:
Zellerbach Family Foundation
Panta Rhea Foundation
New England Foundation for the Arts
and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Media sponsor:
Bay Area Reporter