Born in Oxnard California (1951), Katie Duck is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. She began performing in plays and musicals as a teenager, attended the University of Utah as a modern dance major and then joined the Salt Lake City Mime Troupe touring in the United States and Europe. (1973-6).
She left the United States in 1976 to live in Amsterdam, Holland and toured throughout Europe as a performer in solo productions, in productions with Carlos Traffic, Jango Edwards and in improvisations with Amsterdam music artists Ernst Reijseger (cello), Tristan Honsinger (cello), Sean Bergen (sax) and Michael Moore (sax). She changed her name to Katie Duck while touring her first solo in Europe “duck play” in 1976. She has used this as her artistic identity title ever since.
In 1979, she moved to Italy where she formed the company GROUPO. She toured through out Europe with her one hour productions Rutles, The Orange Man, Brown eye Green eye and Mind the gap and participated in free lance improvisation collaborations with Julyen Hamilton, Kristie Simpson and Steve Paxton among others. In 1986 she accepted a senior lecturer position at Dartington College of Arts teaching for the theater department and led the choreography course. In 1991 she accepted a part time post at the AHK Hooge school voor de kunsten dance departments in Amsterdam teaching movement research, improvisation, composition and technique.
By 1988 she became interested in the internet evolution and by 1991 created an international focus group for email announcements and continues to encourage artists to build their internet precence as part of their creative work. In 2003 she began to collaborate with dance artists and internet communication expert Justin Morrison. Justin introduced Katie to facets of internet communications that allowed for her to create a youtube presence with her home videos and for them to collaborate on live streamed performances from the USA to Europe. Justin offered a generous support in furthering her education in the area of new technologies generally.
Throughout her career Katie has worked with music artists who share her passion for collaborating music, text and dance using improvisation as the means to combine art forms and execute live time compositions for performance. She has performed in duet and in ensembles with music artists Derek Bailey, Han Bennik, Andy Moore as well as many others. Katie created MAGPIE in 1995 in Amsterdam to reflect her work with improvisations musicians. MAGPIE toured in Europe, the USA, Asia, New Zealand and Scandinavia and received national funding from 2002-2006 for tours within the Netherlands. She changed her MAGPIE project into an umbrella organization in 2007 in order to shift the position of the performance direction and to support young artists who had done apprenticeships with her. In 2011 she resurrected MAGPIE as a performance project together with her musician colleague Alfredo Genovesi. The first phase of this action was in a research project (Duck projects 2009-11) where she and Alfredo realised a theme for their improvisation collaborative performance work; Crime and Casualty.
Katie has been organising workshops in Amsterdam since 1995 at the studio seven first under the title PIA, under the title Magpie Umbrella and presently under the title MAGPIE. Since 2009 and currently, she runs a four week improvisation music/performance summer course, the Xmas weekend workshop and, since 2013, Thursday sessions with her colleague Alfredo Genovesi in Amsterdam.
Katie has initiated numerous dance and music improvisation on-going events in her three bases Holland, Italy and England. In her current base Amsterdam, her initiatives have included a yearly Improvisation festival at the Frascati Theater (1994-9), a monthly improvisation series at the Fijnhout Theater (1992-3), the Muiderpoort Theater (1994-9), The Melkweg Theater (2000-2001) and OT301 Cultural center (2002-2006). With her colleague Alfredo Genovesi, she presently runs an on-going event at the OT301 AnaMorphic studio in Amsterdam; Freakatoni witchy Sundays
Katie Duck is presently a teacher for the SNDO choreography department and for the Modern Dance department at the AHK Hooge School voor de kunsten in Amsterdam. She tours to Asia, the USA, South America, England, Scandinavia and Europe with her workshop, with her collaborative workshop with Alfredo Genovesi, with MAGPIE performances and for director/choreography commissions.