Vital Physical


The Anatomy of Gesture.

PLOT 1: MARCH 29-APRIL 1, 10 AM TO 5 PM,


PLOT 2: APRIL 5-8, 10 AM TO 5 PM,


The Anatomy of Gesture.

Below is the information from Core Dance's most recent DIG, which was held in Spring 2021. Plot 1 was led by Keith Hennessy and Plot 2 was led by Keith Thompson.

DIG will return in 2022.

We will explore dance improvisation and performance through the lens of gesture – which for us means the crafting of intention and awareness.  Gestures can take the form of specific movements, shifts of attention, making the choice to coordinate one’s actions with others.  Gesture can take the form of devising or activating improvisational scores.  We are interested in how the syntax of gestures gives a performance an overall sensibility and ground for connections.  We believe that it is just as important to attend to the intervals between gestures and the gestures themselves.  Our classes will be movement-based, encouraging dancers to develop poetic instincts that are born from both practice and intuition.

Join us for Plots 1, 2 or both!

Each day will consist of a 2-hour morning class, 1-hour lunch and 4-hour research in the afternoon. 

139 Sycamore St.
Decatur GA, 30030

DIG, personal and collective movement research, is Core Dance’s summer intensive for professional dance artists. Intended to provide a space for group-minded and individual learning and exploration, artists will investigate the art-making process, tune their creative voice, gain tools in technique, methodologies for movement invention and composition and performance studies. Led by art-makers from around the world, participants will experience a rigorous investigation of the body in space and the connection towards one another while expanding their artistic and movement research practices.

Keith Hennessy photo by Robbie Sweeny co

4 days of training in contemporary, experimental, politically-activated dance, performance, and live art with KEITH HENNESSY 


"Everything you touch, you change.

Everything you change, changes you."

-Octavia Butler


We will focus on dancing in relationship, dancing with one or more partners, dancing with the other, and dancing with the multitudes of the nonhuman: from ancestors to biome, context to architecture, ecosystem to desire.


We will look for ways to touch and move each other, while negotiating the limits of COVID era social distancing. We will use energy, rope, wood, thread, eye contact, sound, desire, and intent to bridge the distances between us. Everything we do will be a political metaphor, a poem and a prayer, as well as a practice of presence and realness.


There will be time for talking each day, questioning and analyzing the work and the world. Conversation and inquiry will be rooted in bodies, in our shared practice, in movement and dance/performance-making. We will improvise more than compose and hopefully the difference between these forms of choreography will become less relevant with each passing day.


We will explore the current trend concepts of anti-racism, decolonization, and trauma-informed healing, especially as they relate to our dance/political ecosystems and our personal/community embodied histories. We will not resolve anything but we will seek insights and practices that might help...


All participants will be asked to prioritize empathy and solidarity. Self-care within this context is a must.

KEITH A. THOMPSON danced internationally for the Trisha Brown Dance Company from 1992-2001, served as Trisha’s Rehearsal Assistant from 1998-2001, currently Associate Professor and Director of Dance at Arizona State University, performs and rehearsal directs for Liz Lerman; teaches globally for Sasha Waltz & Dancers (Berlin), his company, ‘danceTactics performance group’, has been featured at Montpellier International Dance Festival, Dixon Place NYC, Jersey Moves Festival at NJPAC in Newark NJ, Triskelion Art Center’s Split Bill Series in Brooklyn, the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival and the Hokusai International Dance and Theater Festival in Tokyo, Japan and Nimbus Presents OFFLINE at BAM Fisher in Brooklyn. Professor Thompson is also the Inaugural Faculty Fellow at ASU’s Center for Race and Democracy.


​Choreographic Research Lab
Cultivating short and longer movement studies of choreographed and improvisational contemporary partnering, Focus is placed on the exploration of ideas and meaning.  interests in finding the purpose of movement during dialogue / monologue, sourcing from a variety of tools and ideas used to investigate the development of seed ideas that will consist of enhancing or exaggerating material, finding variations, working with unison, abstracting the context of text, physicality verbal action, playing with and exploring characters physical attributes. Some time will also be devoted to investigations of external influences to generate material. In my own work, I have this driving desire to search for crossroads and intersections within phrases that can support my choices in choreographic structure. This lens of seeing and recognizing these opportunities will be explored within the lab as well. An open mind and unlimited imagination is core for study within this lab. Participants will be asked to look at improvisations to determine what works and why, and then will begin to set some of the improvised material. Concepts from daily class will be imported into lab time. Working as individuals and in small and larger groupings, students create their own movements as they learn to follow their internal impulses and respond to their fellow dancers. Mechanisms to build and deliver material will be investigated and guided by the mentor to broaden perspectives about choreography. Participants will investigate material from my own work.

Registration is closed
Registration is closed.