Justin F. Kennedy
We explore the multi-dimensions of our personalities, bodies and movement vocabularies. The class begins with a warm-up that includes
release technique exercises to ground a structural foundation, West-African inspired extremity flailing to warm the muscles, hip-hop isolation, spiraling and curved floorwork ending in Horton-based core strengthening exercises. The class is then lead through a series of structured improvisational tasks that emphasize extreme states of being while paying close attention to states of hysteria and mania as well as rhythmic and musical choices. The class will end with some collective phrase development using all of the tools and information gathered throughout the class previously. The class takes you onan energetically enlivening journey which includes techniques of checking in with the some movement systems with which you are already familiar. Inaddition, the class also asks for an openness to explore systems that have not yet been discovered. The class requires participants of intermediate/advanced levels who have a hunger for dynamism and exploring the possibilities of human bodies moving through space! Participants will be asked to visit and revisit places within, around and outside of themselves.
Justin F. Kennedy is a dance artist, teacher, collaborator and choreographer based in Berlin. He was a member of Alonzo King's LINES Ballet Ensemble and KUNST-STOFF Dance Company in San Francisco between 2006-2008. He has worked with choreographer Tomi Paasonen (PAA) since 2008 and has been a guest artist with Faustin Linyekula, Amara Tabor-Smith, Liz Lerman and most recently with the Staatoper Unten den Linden Berlin for their contemporary reinterpretation of "Die Fledermaus". Justin recently completed a solo dance film entitled MIMESIS in collaboration with dancer, Francesca Pellanda, film artist, Felipe Frozza, Costume and fashion designer, SADAK, musician Miles Perkin and lighting designer Asier Solana which has recently been developed into a live performance.
Justin F. Kennedy hails from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands where his passions for the performing arts were cultivated. He began performing in the drama department at Good Hope School; and through his interest in theater, Justin rediscovered dance while studying musical theater at the University of the Arts Pre-College Summer Institute where he took his first ballet and hip-hop dance classes. Justin began his formal dance training at Wesleyan University where he earned a dual degree in Dance and Ethnic Studies in May 2006. During his college
career, Justin studied ballet, modern dance, dance composition, Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical Dance), West African Dance, and Flamenco in addition to performing in several hip-hop and modern dance groups on campus. Over the last few years, Justin has attended various dance intensives including Barnard Summer Dance Study, Nutmeg Ballet School, the Ailey School, and American Ballet Theater. Recently Justin attended the Jacob's Pillow Cultural Traditions Program where he studied Afro-Cuban Dance, Afro-Haitian Dance, the Traditional Dances of the Dominican Republic, and Bomba and Plena. Since moving to the Bay Area, Justin has danced with Alonzo King's LINES Ballet Repertory Ensemble, Alayo Dance Company (Afro-Cuban/Modern fusion dance) and Deep Waters Dance Theater directed by former Associate Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women, Amara Tabor Smith. As a LEAP Artist-in-Residence, Justin taught the Conga to students at Marshall Elementary after which Justin and his students performed in the Carnival 2007 Parade. In addition to his work with LEAP, Justin also teaches hip-hop dance to high school and middle school students in the Bay Area through the Jamestown Community Center and the ODC Youth Program. Justin strongly believes that arts education is one of the most effective catalysts for youth empowerment and liberation.
In addition to his work as a performer and choreographer, Justin has also taught dance to many non-dancers in both the US and in Europe, mainly working with youth. His approach to teaching uses dance as a mechanism for healing and confidence-building. Justin holds a BA in Dance and American Studies from Wesleyan University.