PERFORMANCE: WEEKEND 3 > JANUARY 20-21, 2017 > Kathleen Hermesdorf + Stephanie Maher, Keith Hennessy, Xandra Ibarra with Sophia Wang

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Project Details
January 20-21, 2017
Project Description

FRESH2017 Kathleen Hermesdorf, Keith Hennessy, Xandra Ibarra


Friday-Saturday, January 20-21

8pm | Joe Goode Annex

Collaborative, evocative duets exploring identity, history and corporeality by Kathleen Hermesdorf + Stephanie Maher, Keith Hennessy and Xandra Ibarra + Sophia Wang.

by Kathleen Hermesdorf + Stephanie Maher

Empathy, pathos, pathetic fallacy. Looking for the dissolve. Giving value to what is in the present ether. Logos and ethos. Rational and ethical. Set and undefined. Dissolve. Is there an attribution of human feelings towards objects? An objectifying of the human with poetic composition, infecting the space with obsolete presences? Disappearance and relationship. Ghosting ourselves by allowing the sweet listening body to appear with mercy, magic and historical evidence of collective pain. We are dis-incorporating, disrupting, improvising and composing ourselves and the audience to observe this intimate atmosphere infused with a particular light, a particular color, a particular scene, a particular feeling.

Freedom (experiments)
by Keith Hennessy

Keith Hennessy will perform songs and dances that will continue to be developed throughout 2017. Working with both ritual and spectacle as practices of transformation, Hennessy’s new work negotiates the borderlands between legibility and mystery, street and theater, politics and poetics, work and fun, solo and collaboration. There will be costumes.

Less Here
by Xandra Ibarra in collaboration with Sophia Wang

Less Here is part of a body of works that devote attention to skin, elasticity and movement to create biomorphic shapes and figurations of flesh. I hope this work will do what I want it to do; if she’s a good girl, she will refuse explicit interpretation and question our representational status as racialized subjects. If she’s a bad girl, she will be interpreted as recuperative or be explicitly about injury.


FRESH PERFORMANCES invite cutting-edge dance, music and performance makers to share the stage as a platform for research, experimentation and live testing of new material. FRESH 2017 presents 3 weekends of original works, curating 3 artists each weekend who push the boundaries of form, method and content.


Kathleen Hermesdorf is an international dance artist, educator and producer, and the Director of ALTERNATIVA and FRESH Festival in San Francisco. She has been dancing in the Bay Area since 1991 and teaches, performs, improvises, creates, curates and mentors around the world. Hermesdorf was a member of Bebe Miller Company, Contraband/Sara Shelton Mann and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. A collaborator at heart, she co-directed Hermesdorf & Wells Dance Company with Scott Wells and Collusion with Stephanie Maher, a partner in PORCH summer/school at Ponderosa in Germany since 2010. Hermesdorf brings over 20 years of experience from the field, studio and stage to her work and holds a BFA and an MFA in Dance Performance + Pedagogy.

Stephanie Maher – based in New York and then San Francisco 1989-1995. Known for her breathtaking physicality and for creating works that express a unique blend of intimacy, sensitivity and wild humor. In 1998, Maher relocated to Berlin, Germany, where she continued to perform, organize, develop and teach in the community-based settings of K77 Studios and founded the Ponderosa in Stolzenhagen, Germany with Uli Kaiser and PORCH with Kathleen Hermesdorf, a 3 month module-based program for aspiring professionals. Improvisationally structuring and unknowingly creating a life of curating dance between the urban environment and nature, Maher’s focus has deepened towards the small networkings of the international dance scene, creating avenues of support for self-realized and non-profit organizations. This includes the facets of liminal, spontaneous, curious and outspoken performance installations that occur within the permissible space of Ponderosa work and art made at home. Maher recently finished an MFA in Choreography from Smith College.

Keith Hennessy dances in and around performance. Born in Sudbury Ontario, he lives in San Francisco and tours internationally. His performances engage improvisation, ritual and public action as tools for investigating political realities. His awards include Izzies, a NY Bessie, and the United States Artist award. Practices inspired by anarchism, critical whiteness, punk, and queer-feminism motivate and mobilize Hennessy’s teaching, writing, dancing. Keith started practicing contact improvisation in 1979, the same year that he discovered body-based performance art. 2016 was a huge year with 5 premiers created in collaboration with Meg Stuart, Scott Wells, Blank Map, Jassem Hindi, and Peaches. Hennessy directs Circo Zero and was a member of Contraband with Sara Shelton Mann, 1985-1994. Keith earned an MFA in Choreography and a PhD in Performance Studies from UC Davis.

Xandra Ibarra (Lead Artist and Performer) is an Oakland-based performance artist from the El Paso/Juarez border who performs and often works under the alias of La Chica Boom. She uses hyperbolized modes of racialization and sexualization to test the boundaries between her own body and coloniality, compulsory whiteness, and Mexicanidad. Her practice integrates performance, sex acts, and burlesque with video, photography, and objects. Throughout her multiple works, she teeters between abjection and joy and problematizes the borders between proper and improper ethnic, gender, and queer subject. Ibarra’s work has been featured at El Museo de Arte Contemporañeo (Bogotá, Colombia), The Broad Museum (LA), Popa Gallery (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Joe’s Pub (NYC), PPOW Gallery (NYC), and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF) among others.  She has held residency as an Affiliate Artist at Headland Center for the Arts, Djerrasi, National Performance Network, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and CounterPulse.  She has been awarded the Franklin Furnace Performance and Variable Media Award, NALAC Fund for the Arts, YBCA Away Award, ReGen Grant, and Theater Bay Area Grant. Her work has been profiled by Art Practical, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, GLQ Journal, Women and Performance Journal, and In Dance Magazine. For more information go to:

Sophia Wang (Performer) creates and performs movement-based works in collaboration with performance artists, writers, and visual and sound artists. She has presented works at the Berkeley Art Museum, San Francisco’s ATA, SOMArts, and the Lab, and Oakland’s Lobot Gallery. A founding member of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, she has co-developed and performed duets and evening-length works for the Garage, Counterpulse, Temescal Arts Center, KUNST-STOFF arts, and the Montreal Pop Festival. Artist-choreographers she has danced for include Xandra Ibarra, Hentyle Yapp, Amara Tabor-Smith, Tino Sehgal, and Jérôme Bel, and in December 2017 she will perform in Xavier Le Roy’s Rétrospective as part of the 2016 Taipei Biennial.



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