Q&A: Kay Kenney on Movement Market’s Juvenis Festival Show

The Juvenis Festival has kicked off in Kingston showcasing the work of some of our city’s most talented young artists! Kay Kenney of Movement Market/SERIES took a minute to answer questions via email about her company’s participation in the festival. This Thursday until Saturday, Movement Market/SERIES will be showing in the old American Apparel storefront on Princess. Read about the new dance platform and upcoming performance in the Q&A below.
Keep up with Kingston: Tell me a little about yourself and your dance background? 
Kay Kenney: I grew up in Kingston ontario. I’ve danced since the age of 4 and studied at the Kingston School of Dance in the old tett centre building. I grew up training in the classical Cecchetti ballet method where I received up to my Intermediate certificate. Over the years I was interested in branching out and began studying all types of methods, such as; jazz, hip-hop, latin, ballroom, musical theatre & contemporary dance, to prepare me for post-secondary training.
I am a 2012 graduate from the Professional Contemporary Dance 3 year diploma Programme at The School of Dance in Ottawa. Since graduation, I have been working as a company dancer for Social Growl Dance, under Artistic Direction of Riley Sims (Toronto) & a company dancer as part of Ottawa Dance Directive, under artistic direction of Yvonne Coutts. I have trained and worked with professionals all over Ontario and Quebec and will be headed to Berlin in June to create a new work for Social Growl Dance to premier in March 2019.

KUWK:Tell me about Movement Market/SERIES?

KK: Movement Market/SERIES is a new dance platform in Kingston offering movement based artists an opportunity to collaborate, network, create and perform. The evening will consist of contemporary dance works created by five local artists at different stages in their artistic career; youth, pre-professional, emerging and professional. Performances will run  Thursday May 3rd – Saturday May 5th.

I am constantly inspired by movement and the way it can be manipulated. I have been fortunate to train and collaborate with a variety of choreographers who have influenced the way I look at movement and how I understand the body. A lot of research and development has gone into how we can express ourselves — using the art of dance and performance art — to continuously develop the art form. I want to share what I have learned to contribute to the art scene in Kingston.
KUWK: What do you love about being a part of the Juvenis Festival? 
KK: The Juvenis Festival has given Kingston a chance to showcase all different forms of art and has provided a friendly, inspiring environment for youth to explore and grow within different art forms. The Juvenis Festival has supported me for the past 3 years and has offered one of the first platforms to give local contemporary dance a chance in our city. This has played a huge role in building a dance community in this city.
KUWK: Tell me about the show and the choreographers participating in the show this weekend? 
KK: This show is the first of its kind in Kingston. I have been in the process of creating Movement Market for the past 2 years in hopes of creating a contemporary dance platform in the city. When the Juvenis Team and myself decided to turn this element of the festival into a Series I was more than thrilled. This specific program is presenting 5 brand new choreographies. Two of the works were choreographed by me, and the other 3 are creations by Charlotte Tessier, Ciana Henderson, Holly Crowson and Cleo Bennett. I also acted as the outside eye for all of the pieces, as this is the first time for creation for some of the choreographers. The two featureworks are a duet choreographed by me, title: There’s Something About Women in Coats, and the 2nd feature work is by Charlotte Tessier, titled The Path, featuring 7 dancers. We have 14 dancers total, 5 choreographers, a stage manager, lighting designer who travelled all the way from Vancouver to work on the show, production manager\costume designer, and 1 very talented musician… all of whom are women!
KUWK: What can the audience expect? 
KK: The best advice I can give anyone when walking into a contemporary dance show, especially if it is your first time, is to keep an open mind. The performance is 1 hour without an intermission. You will be guided through the thoughtful works of each choreographer and may even find a through-line through each of the works. There is a little something for everyone in this show… dancing, humour, live music, original music, talking and more — all hosted in an unconventional space that we have transformed into a theatre,
KUWK: Anything else you’d like to add about Movement Market/SERIES or
KK: As a professional contemporary dancer in the city it is my goal to bring more of my teachings and passion for movement to my hometown. To dance professionally I need to travel outside of Kingston, and want to bring more professional works to Kingston to inspire youth and promote dance as a career. This world needs more artists and Kingston needs more dance to be presented, created, talked about and supported, locally. This is why I have started working on Movement Market. Keep an eye out for more classes, performances, workshops and residencies coming to the city through Movement Market.

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