Workshop in Performance Research and improvisational Compositions
by Katie Duck
Berlin, June 3-5, 2016
– Friday: 4-8 pm
– Saturday: 11am-3pm
– Sunday: 11-3pm
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.
Who could attend?
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 work and is willing to experiment and take risks with the material she offers.
What you learn?
Improvisational performance breaks the framework of preset choreography and challenges the artist to be the creator/composer/choreographer and the performer at the same time; to be the doer and the observer simultaneously. It is about learning ‘The Eye‘: of the space, of the watcher and essentially the eye of work being created.
The workshop is oriented towards building skills of performance presence, timing, tracking and conviction of choice/action. It focuses on developing skills to interpret dynamic space and creating one’s own performance frame. While Katie aims to explore novel and rigorous approaches to body work. The main focus lies in reaching a state of surprising oneself. The workshop will be structured into body work, activity-based sessions, performances and a jam.
Her warm-up and exercises emphasis how the eyes and the ears work in coordination with movement, sound and exposure to gathered crowds altering our perception of time, space, feelings and emotions. Improvisation sessions revolve around the terms pause, flow, exit, choice and presence with discussions articulating play, memory and intuition.
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.
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 awareness creates a presence in the space and a compositional alertness.
Her aim is to provide a situation where artists can practice together and grow in confidence toward public performances with an objective to clarify that improvisation not the antitheses of choreography or composition but rather the way choreography and composition can be executed.
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.
How Katie teachs?
Katie 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.
Over the past 10 years her workshops have been titled “Improvisation” in order to emphasis her views on theater as a live art form reflective of how she executes her own professional performances. Her research is placed in practice with lectures containing her recent interest in brain studies and film.
She integrates her current research making each workshop completely unique. She draws from her experiences in live performances, music collaborations, as a director and choreographer.
Her enthusiasm for a young artists to be able to continue their practice, in a very different atmosphere than when she began her work, is evident in how she has continued to up grade her life style with new technologies, continued to do research in the sciences, the performance arts and music. She has created several projects with an aim to support a young artists rather than her own career. She continues to take risks with her own career in the support of young artists giving them the possibility to experiment within their own practice.
She promotes to her students that the mental connection to the practice of improvisation can be accessed weather they are doing set or open framed performance pieces and that the definitions of what improvisation within art practices mean today need to be reflective to advances in brain-studies and technology.
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.
Katie has had the possibility to create material for her workshops out of a wide range of practice 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.
QUOTES Katie Duck
“The combination of moving, seeing, hearing, feeling and deliberately volunteering to expose myself in front of an audience alters my perception of time, space and emotions. What I do for a living is an induced neuron madness”
“I am not interested in the moment even though it does feel good. I am interested in movement and the fact that time is passing. It is a kind of hippie hype to encourage someone to be in the moment.”
“A fully awake body is rarely pedestrian. The body awake needs to be discovered and demands a discipline beyond everyday tasks. And yet when I see movement that does not respect the beauty of the body as pedestrian I become uncomfortable. How the body works and how I see a body is not so different an activity in how I feel. To not respect the body as an already perfect place of motion is like watching a dog trying to learn ballet.”
Cage make a movie
(Solo Katie / Music Mix Katie Duck)
Girls at work
(Yolanda Snaith and Katie Duck / music mix Katie Duck)
(OT301 Amsterdam / live musicians)
Cloing talk at SDSU : Katie Duck & Alfredo Genovesi
DR Sharon Smith essay about working with Katie Duck
Home from Home by the Blue Stocking Social Club
by Vincent Cacalano
BIO Katie Duck
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.
More at Katies Website: http://katieduck.com/about-katie-duck/bio/
Early bird 100€ (money transfer until April 25, 2016)
For registration details and workshop questions please contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Möckernstr.68, 10965 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
U6 & 7 Yorckstrasse / Mehringdamm
S1 & 2 Yorckstrasse
Bus M19 Katzbachstrasse
July 8, 2015, ALTO FEST – International Performing Arts Festival: Katie Ducks solo „Cage“ at La chiesa di San Girolamo delle Monache, Napoli, Italy