Justin Francis Kennedy, born 1983 in Saint Croix, Virgin Islands; lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Emma Howes and Justin Kennedy approach choreography as a methodology for research and speculation. In their collaborative work Alive Presents Presents, the artists developed a series of workshops and performances to analyze the experience and translatability of trance forms.
Some Murder Theatre in Here, developed during their residency at Callie’s and performed at Volksbühne Grüner Salon, resulted in a durational lucid opera that began with a four-hour “cave-rave” in which participants danced continuously. Highlighting the impossibility of understanding without involvement, the doors were then opened to the public for the final hour of dancing, after which an extended theatre production ensued. Choreography, storytelling, harpists and segways, meditations, leaf blowers, and smoke machines created an expanded, polyphonic arrangement. The score was written on large mirrors in the space itself, and within the Zymns Zines—a collection of lyrical content and artworks compiled by the participants so that the audience could follow a shifting plot line—allowing for the reconfiguration of a dream-like state.
The complex model of immersive choreography as observed in Some Murder Theatre in Here portrays the artists’ multiform interests and inquiries. Emma Howes studied ballet and Baroque opera before becoming a company member with the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. Her expansive choreographic practice incorporates public interventions, kinaesthetic and architectural research with an underlying drawing component in the form of graphic scores for performances. Justin Kennedy studied dance and Ethnic Studies at Wesleyan University and choreography at HZT Berlin. Together Howes and Kennedy regularly lead workshops about trance dance and science fiction opera, and facilitate Alive … & then Some as an annual laboratory in an opera house in Porto, Portugal.
Emma Waltraud Howes is a Toronto-born dancer and choreographer. Howes studied ballet and Baroque opera before becoming a company member with the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. She received a certificate in professional training from Toronto Dance Theatre, Toronto, a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, and an MFA from Concordia University, Montreal, where she was awarded an international grant to take part in the New Artistic Strategies program at The Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar. Selected solo exhibitions include Scores for Daily Living, ZIL Cultural Center, Moscow (2019); Scores for Daily Living, Quartier Am Hafen, Köln (2019); Scores for Daily Living, Kunstmuseet Nord-Trøndelag, Namsos (2018); The Nine Returns to the One, The Place, London (2018); Stage Directions for a Mouth, Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga (2016); Ankyloglossia (n. tongue-tie), Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2014). Howes lives and works in Berlin.
Justin Francis Kennedy is a dance artist from St. Croix, Virgin Islands. He studied dance and Ethnic Studies at Wesleyan University and earned an MA in Choreography from HZT Berlin. He leads workshops about trance dance and science fiction opera and has performed intimately with and for artists including Emma Howes, Ethan Braun, Nkisi, Jeremy Shaw, Ligia Lewis, Isabel Lewis, Tino Sehgal, Adam Linder, Liz Kinoshita, Jeremy Wade, Peaches, and Faustin Linyekula. Kennedy lives and works in Berlin.
“Alive Presents Presents’ most recent engagements include: Unfurl […], ImPulsTanz (2021)., 11th Berlin Biennale, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2020); Some Murder Theatre in Here, Volksbühne Grüner Salon, Berlin (2020); and Alive, Ateneu, Porto, Portugal (2019). Upcoming workshops will be presented at ImPulsTanz, Summer 2021.