Adam McKinney

Adam McKinney
How can dance be used to reconcile traumatic histories?

Adam McKinney’s artistic research questions how one might perform traumatic events of the past without re-performing trauma into the present. His dance making furthers cultural expression and dialogue about issues of culture, identity, heritage, race, class, and trauma across the contexts of live concert performance, participatory dance classes and workshops, dance-film, and augmented reality (AR). Past works have traced Adam’s own African American, Native American, and Jewish heritages onstage and through dance films created at historic sites of ancestral displacement.His latest project is the development of a AR app to foster dialogue and engagement at sites of American lynching in and around Fort Worth, Texas. 

Full schedule TBA, including these public events:

  • Monday 10/28/19, 3-4:30pm, Location: Rubenstein Arts Center TBD, Dance 101/Introduction to Dance (Wilbur): Research Presentation: How can dance be used to reconcile traumatic histories? Join former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Adam W. McKinney as he presents excerpts from his screendance HaMapah/The Map Dance-on-Film for which he traveled to genealogically specific locations to, through dance, reclaim Black and Jewish lands. McKinney will also present his in-process augmented reality and dance research, which invites Fort Worth, TX to remember and make sense of a history of lynching. 
  • Tuesday 10/29/19,  1:25-2:40pm, Location: Rubenstein Arts Center 201, Dance 110/Elementary Modern Dance (Khalsa): Master Class

About the Artist: Adam W. McKinney is a dancer, choreographer, and community activist. He has danced with some of the world’s preeminent dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Béjart Ballet Lausanne (Switzerland), Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, ZviDance, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, and Milwaukee Ballet Company. McKinney has led dance work with diverse populations across the U.S. and in Benin, Canada, England, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Palestine, Poland, Rwanda, Serbia, Spain, and South Africa. Awards of note include an Asylum Arts award for truth and reconciliation artwork about the Fort Worth (TX) lynching of Fred Rouse entitled “SCAB;” Texas Christian University’s (TCU) Research & Creative Activities Award for “Dancing through a Door of Return,” site-specific dance performances in West African slave castles; New York University’s President’s Service Award for dance work with populations who struggle with heroin addiction; Jerome Foundation’s Emerging Choreographers grant for dance work with Ethiopian-Israeli communities; National Artist Teacher Fellowship for “The Borders Project” at the Mexico/U.S. border; and LEAD:NM, an educational fellowship for teachers and leaders of color creating change in charter education in New Mexico.

Adam was a School of American Ballet National Visiting Teaching Fellow, an opportunity to engage in important conversations around diversity and inclusion in classical ballet. Named one of the most influential African Americans in Milwaukee, WI, by St. Vincent DePaul, McKinney was New Mexico School for the Arts’ inaugural Dance Department Chair (Santa Fe, NM). McKinney holds a BFA in Dance Performance with high honors from Butler University and an MA in Dance Studies with concentrations in Race and Trauma theories from NYU-Gallatin. He is an Assistant Professor of Dance in the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance at TCU and teaches courses in classical ballet, modern dance (Horton), and choreography. Areas of research include: dance performance, site-specific dance, mixed ability dance, trans-generational trauma, dance and PTSD, Queer dance, Black dance, Jewish dance, and dance with veterans.

photo credit: Andrew Eccles