DNAWORKS in Toronto

Dance | Film | Art | Music | Parties

May 23 & 24, 2023

Announcing the Toronto residency with the award-winning artist couple and founders of U.S.-based DNAWORKS, Adam W. McKinney (dancer, choreographer, Artistic Director, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre) and Daniel Banks (director, dance dramaturg, dialogue facilitator).

DNAWORKS believes that art = ritual = healing = community. Don’t miss these two jam-packed days of art and community!

Detail from Naomi Daryn Boyd, Memory Map, w/ sounds (dead stock wool fabric and vintage tapestry wool), 2021-2022.

Mapping Our Stories | A Multi-Media Art Party

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 | 7 – 10 PM
FENTSTER @ Makom, 402 College Street

Pop-up projects on view for one night only inspired by the form and metaphor of maps.

  • Large-scale, handmade textile maps by Naomi Daryn Boyd installed outdoors on College Street
  • Meichen Waxer’s installation references her family’s history in the small Jewish community of Kirkland Lake in Northern Ontario
  • See HAMAPAH (Hebrew for ‘the map’) – DNAWORKS’ original exhibition created for the FENTSTER window gallery
  • Dance Workshops with dance Immersion’s Zahra Badua & DNAWORKS’ McKinney & Banks
  • Interactive Installations with collaborative map-making prompts
  • Snacks, Drinks, Music & More!

Partially accessible venue

Learn more: fentster.org/events/art-party

Still from HaMapah / The Map Dance-on-Film, 2021.

Hamapah / The Map: Dance-on-Film Screening & Storycircle

Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Prosserman JCC, 4588 Bathurst Street
Pay What You Decide | Tickets: $10 – $54

This stunningly beautiful film (30 min.) accompanied by a stirring soundtrack follows McKinney’s return to his ancestral homelands in Benin, Poland, and across the United States to trace the intersections of his African American, Native American and Jewish heritages. The work was created as a way to investigate the possibility of healing transgenerational traumas and celebrating the fullness of McKinney’s mixed-heritage identity. Watch the Trailer

Following the screening, the audience comes together for DNAWORKS signature “storycircle” inviting dialogue on how viewers’ own personal stories and experiences intersect with the key themes of family, identity and heritage laid out in the film. The storycircles – which the artists have led over two decades in 17 countries – offer community members an opportunity to get closer, enhance or build relationships and engage in community healing.

Come Early, Stay Late!

  • Jews of Colour and their loved ones are invited to register for the pre-screening gathering, Dinner & Dialogue
  • Stay for the after-party drinks, nosh and live music from the Juno-nominated band, Jaffa Road, blending influences from Jewish music, classical Arabic and Indian music, modern jazz, blues, electronica, rock, pop, funk and dub.

Accessible venue

Learn more: fentster.org/events/dance-film-storycircle


Exhibition on view into June 2023
FENTSTER, 402 College Street

Earth, artifacts, movement and memory come together to form this new installation created for FENTSTER by Adam W. McKinney and Daniel Banks. This exhibition is an outgrowth of their film, dubbed “a genealogical dance journey”. They traveled to the places where McKinney traces his roots and where he danced in this site-specific work: Ouidah, Benin; Kraków and Siedlanka, Poland; as well as cities, towns, fields and shores across Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, and Wisconsin. The installation is in dialogue with McKinney’s ancestor, the 16th century scholar, Rabbi Moshe Isserles, and his foundational work: HaMapah, Hebrew for both ‘tablecloth’ and ‘map’. The artists map the narrative of a Black, Jewish, Indigenous Queer man in the United States, who inherits a lineage of genocide, forced migration and oppression; cultures of vibrance, community and resilience; and a past teeming with loss and omissions. In a gesture of release and exaltation, McKinney offers an opening for each of us to dance our own maps into existence.

Learn more: fentster.org/#/hamapah

About the Visiting Artists

Adam W. McKinney is a dancer, choreographer, and activist. He is the new Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. A former member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet Company, and other prestigious dance companies. McKinney served as President for Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice, a Fort Worth-based social justice organization. He was an Associate Professor of Dance with tenure in the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance at Texas Christian University.

Daniel Banks is a director, deviser, dance dramaturg, and dialogue facilitator. He has directed at National Theatre of Uganda; BelarussianNational Drama Theatre; Market Theatre Lab, South Africa; Playhouse Square, Cleveland; HERE Arts Center, NY; Bay Area Playwrights Festival; NYC and DC Hip Hop Theatre Festivals; & Oval House, Teatro Technis, and with Kompany Malakhi, London. He is a recent recipient of Harvardwood Heroes award for his work co-instigating the project to transform 1012 N. Main Street, Fort Worth’s former Ku Klux Klan Auditorium, into a center and museum for art and community healing.

About the Project

DNAWORKS in Toronto is a season-long multi-disciplinary production presented by FENTSTER, Prosserman JCC and DNAWORKS together with No Silence on Race, Jewish&, LGBTQ+ at the J, dance Immersion, Jews of Colour Canada, Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism, BAND: Black Artists’ Networks in Dialogue and Kultura Collective. The related online event with McKinney, Anique Jordan, Kendell Pinkney and Chanel M. Sutherland can be viewed anytime: Between Art & The Self: Black Artist on Experience and Process.

Learn More: fentster.org/events/dnaworks

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Contact: info@fentster.org