Crotch (all the Joseph Beuys references in the world cannot heal the pain, confusion, regret, cruelty, betrayal or trauma...)

Crotch references the images and actions of artist Joseph Beuys. On the surface the work is about art, its histories, and heroes; deeper, a sadness grows, a queer melancholy. A song, a dance, and a lecture talk to the dead. Beuys claimed that, “All labor is creative.” Moving across a stage full of sculpture, Hennessy cannibalizes the work of the legendary and problematic Beuys, embodying his shamanic beliefs and channeling this mythic figure.

Using chocolate, fat, felt, steel, signs, texts, and threads of alchemical connection, Crotch re-stages Beuys’ work from the gallery to the body, from the sculptor to the dancer, adapting abstract forms to express grief and loss. The male artist at mid-life, following his gay divorce, attempts a virtuosic lecture on 1000 years of European philosophy and art history, which collapses spectacularly. The work concludes in a quietly unsettling ritual of connection and absence, testing the limits of the theater and the potential for community.

2009 Bessie Award winner

When + Where + Tickets

10 Year Anniversary Performance!
Thu-Sat June 7-9, 2018
8pm @ The Lab
2948 16th Street, San Francisco, CA
Tickets $15 online and $10-$20 at the door


"an outré, charged solo"
New York Times Review (2009)

"playful, sexy, shamanistic trickery that both enchanted and terrified"
Culture Bot Bessie Award Announcement (2010)

"He offers a charmingly manic, chaotically erudite survey of German philosophy and art history that might trace routes to Beuys... Circuitous lines and arrows remake genealogy."
Village Voice (2009)

Ex Berliner Interview (2011)

Miami Herald (2011)

Miami New Times Interview (2011)

The Chicago Tribune Review (2014)

Production History

Crotch was developed at Ponderosa (Stolzenhagen Germany) in 2007 and was commissioned/presented at L’Arsenic (Lausanne Switz) in 2008. It has also been presented in Vienna (Impulstanz), San Francisco (Dance Mission), Minneapolis (The Southern Theater), New York (Dance Theater Workshop), Zagreb (Queer Zagreb), Liverpool UK (Bluecoat Performance Space), Berlin (Tanzfabrik), Berkeley (Shotgun’s Ashby Stage), American Realness Festival NY (Abrons Art Center), Helsinki (Sidestep Festival, Zodiac), Geneva (Grütli), Poznan Poland (Stary Browar Nowy Taniec), Kelowna (UBC), Copenhagen (Dansens Hus), Chicago (Storefront), Bern (BONE Festival), Roanoke (Hollins University), and Riverside (NOT Festival, University of California at Riverside).


The ten year anniversary performance of Crotch is supported by The Zellerbach Family Foundation and The Lab.