DELINQUENT MUSINGS, a little about me

While working on Delinquent, a collaborative performance-confrontation with the juvenile justice system, I was asked to write a personal essay about becoming an artist.

Fall 2008

At the age of 40 I wrote my first honest artist statement. “I am a political animal. My primary sense seems to be an attention to power, equality, justice, betrayal, cooperation, and consensus. I am passionate about the choreographies of protest and dissent, of uprising and resistance...

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I’m middle-aged, white, male and gay. I tend towards long-term, mostly monogamous relationships that leave a little room for occasional, unashamed sex with others. My last gay partnership lasted nearly 7 years, involved sharing a bed in a fabulous apartment we renovated together, and we twice lined up to get married during Gavin Newsom’s renegade Valentine’s campaign. I’m also a legal, non-denominational priest who has married several couples, straight and gay. I love weddings and I think that everyone who wants one ought to have one. I don’t think that the state or government or any church should stand in the way of any 2 (or more) people who choose to celebrate a loving commitment. Love and blessing and community need each other...

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Tracing the Roots of Contact Improvisation in the Bay Area 1972-1982

Contact Improvisation defies any specific definition or historical analysis. The dancer most often credited for CI’s development is ambivalent about his role and some of CI’s early participants have divergent stories about the development of the work. Following improvisational process and the intelligence of the dance itself, early practitioners resisted a suggestion to codify the form and certify the teachers. Telling a Bay Area history is further complicated by an attempt to counter-balance historical favoring of NY artists and histories. And most histories are reduced to narratives of single male heroes, dismissing or minimizing the significant contributions of women and collectives.

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ONLY IN SAN FRANCISCO? Homegrown trends and traditions (2005)

Observations and projections by Keith Hennessy, guest performance curator Bay Area Now 2005.
Written for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Bay Area Now 2005 catalogue

• Burlesque, sideshow, circus, fire arts and a return to artists who entertain.

For the past decade there’s been a steady increase in aerial acrobats, fire spinning and sculpting, nostalgic & campy burlesque, and the word circus being used to describe just about everything from the entire genre of Tom Waits meets gypsy/Roma music to the Schwartznegger election. After years of deconstructing the spectacle, entertainment is back. For a few years anyone who could spin fire or climb 25 feet of fabric earned respect but that moment is over and for a few dancers, aerialists, contortionists, fire sculptors and spinners, and even hula-hoopists, it’s all about quality now, pushing craft and performance and obsessive training to the next level...

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