Suite canadienne (2015)

My video documentation work, Suite canadienne (2015), is on view at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery as part of the show IGNITION 11 until June 6, 2015.

More info:




Palais de Congrès

Photos by Emily Gan


For two days in April I danced in the public and private institutions of the city: city hall, the courthouse, the stock market, the arts council, the investment banks, the trade buildings and the convention center. I danced a minor part from Ludmilla Chiriaeff’s folk ballet Suite canadienne, choreographed for CBC television in 1955. Presenting an originary work of Quebec ballet danced by a largely untrained body, the performances raise questions about belonging, permission and the re-performance of cultural fantasies.


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Usine C Love You, Porgy


Usine C Love You, Porgy
10 minute excerpt with Fred Basil, Mike Bjella, Ted Crosby, Erik Hove, Micah Langer, Etienne Lapierre, Averil Parker, Liam O’Neill & Stefan Schneider. Video by Samuel Trudelle-Gendron

In March 2014, Usine C asked if I wanted to make a musical performance for the lobby of the theatre. I’ve always loved and hated that lobby. It’s both beautiful and imposing and it has a way of suggesting that, no, the party is not for you, it’s for someone richer than you. To counteract the feeling of not belonging, I filled the space with my people: saxophonists and other musicians in the city who I know and love.
The space is too big for a performance, but we tried to use it all. My plan was to disperse 10 musicians around the sprawling lobby and choreograph a dance of melody that moved between us. Meanwhile the audience had to perambulate in order to actually hear the concert, as the music seemed to always be moving slowly elsewhere.
We used the Gershwin tune “I loves you, Porgy” as a shared ground because I’ve always wanted to hear that song coming from everywhere at the same time. The song is a kind of currency, a way of being in a space together.

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Music And Theatre Must Learn To Disassociate

Jacob Wren and Adam Kinner performing Music And Theatre Must Learn To Disassociate in January 2014. This was part of the exhibition “STAGE SET STAGE: On Identity and Institutionalism” at the SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art. Curator: Barbara Clausen.

Courtesy of SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art. Video credit: Risa Hatayama

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The Weather In Times Square, Today

An excerpt of The Weather In Times Square, Today in which Devin Brahja Waldman surprises us all.

The Weather In Times Square, Today [Excerpt – The Storm] from Adam Kinner on Vimeo.

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Showing Of The Weather In Times Square, Today

The Weather In Times Square, Today


We will be showing the brand new piece

“The Weather In Times Square, Today”

on May 29th, 2014, at 12noon at Studio 303.

[372 Ste-Catherine West, #303]

It is free.

Rebecca Patek will present a piece after us.

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The Weather In Times Square

A new piece called The Weather In Times Square will premiere at Tangente on May 15th to 18th in Montreal.

Tickets and more information here.



Project Description

How to dance the weather, and why? This impossible task brings us again to the limit of representation and to the infinite capacity of the body to hold abstraction. In The Weather In Times Square, five dancers access the rhythms, relations and movements of the weather. They are a rolling cloud slowly traversing the sky; they are the rain pattering on the roof. The literal attempt to dance the weather transforms them into a non-human group, a slowly moving sculpture. And yet, they insist on language as a tool to describe and to discuss the weather. Abstraction is transformed into words and words are exchanged. Eventually we see the weather is a way of looking, a way of feeling, an encounter with the other—something beyond us, continuously undoing us. As we converse, as we come together in the theatre, as we move through life, we are moving with, and as, the weather.

[with Jana Jevtović, Kelly Keenan, Simon Portigal, Noémie Solomon, Devin Brahja Waldman, & Jacob Wren; video shot and edited by Emily Gan.]

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Interview: Kelly Keenan

Below is an interview with performer Kelly Keenan on the topic of her participation
in the performance We can make this work



AK: First of all, I wonder if you could just tell me what made you decide to
participate in We can make this work?

KK: As a friend and colleague, I was already inclined to participate but essentially
your writing on the website, which helped me to understand your motivation in
more depth, excited me to accept this invitation to perform with you. I wrote the
cheque immediately.

AK: When you decided to participate, did you find it difficult to resolve to
actually send money?

KK: Yes, not because of lack of trust but because of my account being deflated and I
was waiting for pay to come in. If you remember, I told you to wait for my “cue” to
cash the cheque.

AK: What was it like to participate?

KK: It was fun. I made a sub-performance out of it where I filmed the writing of the
cheque from photobooth. Photobooth (Mac Software) films backwards so it then
became funny to me that the cheque I wrote appeared to be for $001. In any case
the amount seemed irrelevant. The participation, action and transaction seemed
to be the important matter.

AK: I assume that you frequently send money to various people. Did this
instance of sending money seem or feel different? Why?

KK: It was different in the sense that I knew that 99% would come back and I don’t
normally get money back after I send it unless I request a refund. The return of
the money, the collaboration, was in fact what I was purchasing.

AK: Describe the feeling of receiving the return cheque. Did it feel different from
a normal instance of receiving money?

KK: There is a certain pleasure in receiving a cheque. It’s like getting a
postcard or a tax credit you forgot about in the mail. It’s a pleasant moment in the day.
There is another pleasure in cashing a cheque. As a resourceful person I see a
lot of potential in $99. I did nothing extraordinary with the return cheque. I must
have paid a bill and the rest got lumped with my previous account balance. In
retrospect I wish I had done something a little special with this cheque.

It’s art isn’t it? Should I have framed it? You are very likely to be famous one
day. Maybe that cheque would be worth $9900 in my lifetime.

It was a unique and special exchange with a dear friend. Maybe I should have
put it in my box of mementos.

Not cashing it would have maintained my cheque as a donation to your artistic
practice which in turn is my profit as I enjoy your work so much.
Or perhaps it would enable you to engage collaborators like me. However, I cashed
it, and like a dance, the choreography ended and is now in the archives of
reminiscent memory in the ephemeral.

AK: Has your participation had any lasting effects?

KK: Hydro Quebec still likes me.

AK: Do you feel that trust was an integral part of the piece? Why or why not?

KK: I already trusted you and had no doubt of your reliability. However, this existing
trust was already based on your performance in our previous interactions. I
imagine for those that don’t know you there would be more consideration of
whether you were trustworthy, whether the 99% would actually be returned. In
that case, are your collaborators participating for the thrill of risk entailed? Or
jumping at the invitation to trust others?

To be honest, had I not known you, given the low balance of my bank account at
that time, I likely would not have participated. There are appropriate and
inappropriate times to gamble.

AK: Part of the idea of we can make this work is to rob money of its
performative power—that is, its power to create social reality. Can you
reflect on this intention having participated in the piece?

KK: In my role of giving you a cheque was an act to willfully engage in a creative
social proposition and exchange. In your case, the invitation actively seeks social
exchange with a limitless and indiscriminate number of participants. Maintaining
your performed promise by handing me a return cheque of 99% was an act that
affirmed your social credibility and reliability from my perspective and, I presume,
also of the other collaborators whom you honored your agreement to.
So, I am not yet convinced the money was robbed of its power to create social

Can it be that “we can make this work” in fact suggests a social reality? A positive
and creative social reality encouraging exchange, honorability and no one
gravely loses.

Can it be that “we can make this work” infact builds your personal social reality?
However, in the sense that due to the almost exact equal amount exchanged the
transaction becomes trivial and thus, yes, powerless.

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