Profile: Dancers, performers or musicians with a great capacity for improvisation.
When: 2-6 july 2018 // 10.00h – 14.00h
Katie Duck has been a professional performer and maker since the early 1970’s. She has been a influential figure in the improvisational performance scene internationally, inspiring generations of performers, musicians and performance makers. She set up the acclaimed Gruppo in Italy in 1979 and toured Europe with a host of productions. She was head of choreography at Dartington College of arts (senior lecturer) in the late 1980’s. She joined the staff at Amsterdam Hogeschool voor de kunsten in 1991 teaching movement research, improvisation, composition and technique and founded the improvisational dance and music company Magpie in the 1990’s with whom she toured internationally. She has collaborated with renowned dance and improvisation music artists form all over the world. Katie’s career has included independent teaching, university teaching, set choreography’s, structured improvisations, music and dance real time performances and live streaming international performances. Her collaborations have been with musicians, visual artists, lighting designers, dancers, actors and comedians. She has initiated education courses and workshops, festivals and monthly performance series in her three bases Italy, England and Holland. She has led dance companies, dance/music companies, advises young artists and has written text for her performances as well as critical articles. Katie has a determination to continue her research in theatre, music, dance, text and performance. Alongside her vocational studies, her research has led her toward social studies, cultural studies and brain studies. She believes that her research must not be validated by way of academic speak alone but rather on her insistence to hear, see and take part in the practice.
Katie Duck has been teaching since she began to perform professionally in the mid 70’s. She is dedicated to how process and research play a major role in how one can continue to be artistic in how they approach their life and their work. She has had the possibility to create material for her workshops out of a wide range of practices in the performance arts. She has never formulated her teaching material into a frozen body of knowledge. She does not believe that the accumulation of knowledge is how one becomes a teacher. She believes that It is out of her practice and the practice she witnesses with a student that all knowledge becomes clarified in the lessons she leading.
Now in her 60’s, Katie has been teaching workshops internationally and in prestigious University systems for over 35 years. Her enthusiasm for a young artists to be able to initiate their practice is evident in how she has continued to stay connected with new technologies, new research in the physical sciences, economic and political issues, in relationship with the performing arts and music fields.
In the way she communicates with students, one is aware of how she understands that the professional field of the arts has altered drastically in comparison to when she began her practice in the mid 70’s. As part of her teaching, she encourages young artists to devise strategies that allow for them to sustain the production of their work with creativity and research involved and yet survive.
She continues to take risks with her own career in the support of young artists. Giving them the possibility to experiment within her own practice.
Katie Duck has been investigating theater, dance and music with live performance for over 30 years. In her workshop, she takes a microscopic view on the role improvisation plays in a live performance combining her background in the performing arts with her curiosity for advances in brain studies, music and movement research.
Katie has taught all over the world. Her workshop can be organised in institutions of art, theaters, festivals and freelance studios. Workshops are usually five days, four hours per day with no more than 25 students. Katie can do as little as one day if the space is only able to sustain this, however she does insist that workshops are at least four hour sessions.
Katie can accept students from all performance art backgrounds and professional levels. Her only concern is that anyone who studies in her workshop have a deep interest in the material she will be sharing with the students.
Katie guides the dancers and performers through physical exercises that highlight how the eyes and ears affect movement choices and developmental brain studies about “how we learned to walk”. She extends the workshop toward improvisation sessions by setting a fictional front in the studio space and then declaring this as a platform to choose pause, flow or exit. This platform highlights how the limit of these three choices can already provide the frame for a composition to take place, and that misunderstanding, coincidence, live time, interactivity, messiness, emotions, intuition and inspiration are basic materials in a creative process. These raw materials are integrated with the combined fact that everyone in the workshop group can make a choice.
The improvisation sessions are given a delegated time frame with an option for the workshop group to shift, drop or lift the space at will. This shifting, dropping and lifting of the performance space places each individual in a position where they need to be to be fully awake or they will recognisably loose the thread of the creative compositional activity in play.
Choice is introduced to the workshop group as a compositional reality but also as a means for individuals to elect to participate in the performative or as a viewer and yet remain involved in the process. The aim is to gather the workshop group to recognize that in a creative composition process, time is passing at different perceived speeds and that space is shifting in several dimensions at once. This awake fullness promotes individual performance presence and compositional alertness.
She will provide music by artists whom she has worked with in the past and from her background of studies she has accomplished in music. Working with musicians live in improvisation platforms has provided an experience for her to understand how sound is part of how tension is created in a space and further, how it effects the way one feels when creating movement.
Departamento de Cultura y Política Lingüística del Gobierno Vasco
Conservatorio Municipal de Danza José Uruñuela
ARTIUM, CENTRO-MUSEO VASCO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO
TAE, Taller de Artes Escénicas de Vitoria-Gasteiz