Review Orgelpark het Parool Amsterdam 2015
Mentioned on best dancer list 2007 by Windy Perron NY
Wendy Perron of Dance Magazine writes:
Katie Duck is the Zorba the Greek of improvisation: earthy, feeling every mode of sensuality, preposterous, irresistible, polymorphously perverse. Watching her dance is like watching her body think. She is responsive to every situation and obviously enjoys getting into trouble. This piece with K.J. Holmes and Justin Morrison is sort of a round robin of quasi-sexual encounters, punctuated by nicely ridiculous utterances. There was an acknowledgement on the one hand of how inherently absurd performing is, and on the other how inherently physical-bordering-on-the-sexual it can be. It’s about bodies moving, bodies being attracted to each other. True to her mercurial (yet also somehow grounded) self, she performed a haphazardly erotic duet with Morrison, but later confessed her love (in mock Shakespearean tones) to Holmes. In the best improvisation you can’t tell what’s planned and what isn’t, but it all seems to flow, and this was true here. At the end, Duck is out in dark space alone, while Holmes and Morrison are up on the altar inching toward each other
DANCE REVIEW – A pair of moving tales well told
Katie Duck and Mary Oliver, Epifano light up the stage at Sushi – By Jennifer de Poyen DANCE CRITIC December 14, 2004
Both Oliver and Duck are strong technical performers, and yet they use their virtuosity sparingly. The emphasis is on communication, not steps or notes
Erk Aschengreen – Berlingske Tidende 2002
Katie Duck from the USA followed after the break, giving a very varied and accomplished solo performance. If it was completely improvised, she certainly made it work in an extraordinarily elegant way. She had an amusing rapport with the audience and some wonderfully grand dance scenes where she took in the whole space accompanied by Bach or Spanish folk songs. It was a joy to see her move. Katie Duck created an atmosphere; she gave the audience something. Whilst with other improvisational artists one wonders every once in a while if their own obsession with the actual process sometimes obscures the fact that the reason for standing in public, on stage, is first and foremost about sending something to the audience. This evening the improvisation roundabout turns again with new artists and the chance of a prize. Take a shot!
Monna Dithmer – Politiken 2002
On the other hand Katie Duck surprised by sometimes cruising around the foyer, sometimes throwing herself into a fluid dance on stage looking like a tough little faun, only then to jump up on the audience and tell them that her laundry gave her a kick because her husband hung it up with their cock. Tough cookie!
Jennifer Dunning, from the New York Times 2001 Talking Dancers Festival, The Kitchen Theater
The weave of text and dance was achieved less traditionally with words and text serving as both text and aural accompaniment in Katie Duck’s solo from “Love Poems”. Ms Duck’s voice and Alex Waterman’s score for cello and electronically produced sound had a murmuring quality that complimented Ms Duck’s desultory movement style in this meditation on love.
Idoia de Lecumberri (Spain) 1990
Katie Duck, with her magnetic presence, draws all the attention on her dancing and performance. All eyes are fixed on her as she emanates a halo that provokes the vibration of the public
Judith Mackrell (England) 1980
Duck’s sturdy purposefulness makes even her most arbitrary actions seem part of a life-and-death odyssey
DANCE REVIEW – A pair of moving tales well told
Magpie Music, Epifano light up the stage at Sushi
By Jennifer de Poyen
December 14, 2004
Sushi Performance & Visual Art has always been home to alternative voices. So it’s fitting that in this season of holiday shows, the city’s leading presenter of cutting-edge dance and performance presented some serious (albeit seriously fun) dancing.
Last weekend brought the local debut of an avant-garde, improv-based Dutch performing-arts troupe, Magpie Music and Dance Company, and the return of a Bay Area favorite, the choreographer Kim Epifano.
Because of the post-9/11 visa backlog, only the American members of the Magpie troupe were able to enter the country, instead of the full contingent that artistic director Allyson Green had envisioned. So dancer Katie Duck and violinist Mary Oliver – who usually perform with a visual artist, lighting designer and video artists – did what comes naturally: They improvised.
Recruiting Sushi’s resident lighting technician, Geronimo Omabtang, they went to work in Sushi’s temporary digs at St. Cecilia’s. So impressed were they with Omabtang’s work that they asked him to take on a role usually reserved for Magpie’s resident designer: improvising the lighting cues as they created their music and dance, all in real time during the performance. The result, titled “Blink,” was an absorbing, often beautiful trio, with Omabtang’s light acting as a partner to Duck’s dancing and Oliver’s fiddling.
At Saturday night’s performance, “Blink” opened with Oliver alone on stage, strolling and strumming her violin. Meanwhile, Duck emerged from the audience, struck a balance pose on an armrest, embraced an unsuspecting woman, then crawled into the arms of some front-row viewers, who deposited her in front of the stage.
Once onstage, Duck removed her shoes and began to dance in an expressive give-and-take with Oliver, who often moved as she played, at one point dropping to her knees in response to Duck’s dancing. Omabtang’s lighting figured prominently in various moments; at one point, he painted Oliver’s hands and arms in a luscious orange hue, focusing attention on her spiky, soulful melody.
Both Oliver and Duck are strong technical performers, and yet they use their virtuosity sparingly. The emphasis is on communication, not steps or notes.
The same might be said of Epifano’s “NonniNonno,” a collaboration between the choreographer and Jeff Morrison, a local experimental theater artist. Drawing inspiration from the artists’ Italian grandparents, Epifano’s nonni Isabella and Morrison’s nonno Bruno, and blending fact with supposition, the piece imagines their origins in the old country and their life in the New World.
No strict narrative emerges from the piece. Instead, with a sound score that includes the title song from Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci,” popular songs and traditional music, and with a creative use of a few props – a chair, some pieces of cloth, a heaping pile of flour – Epifano and Morrison conjure a sense-filling portrait of the Italian immigrant experience.
A segment in which Epifano and Morrison move together without touching, calling out the ingredients “flour, salt, egg,” becomes a touching metaphor for the way we all create a life from daily ritual. A later sequence, in which Epifano kneels with a cloth over her head, throwing flour in the air, evokes the ways in which ritual can both purify the soul and grind away at individual desire and need.
At one point, the artists imagine their respective grandparents falling in love in Italy. In a humorous simulation of exuberant sex, they dive at each other, then fall into exhausted sleep before being wakened by roosters and donkeys. A later segment expresses the cost of that love: Isabella abandons her dreams to follow Bruno to America. She wanted to be an opera singer, but she only sang the blues, Epifano sings.
One of the purposes of art is to rescue people and events from the private zone of memory and transform them into shared experience. “NonniNonno” ennobles the experience of an ordinary life, irradiated by moments of love, sunk in dailiness, doomed, in the end, to oblivion. It reminds us to live fully and love deeply – to sing our own little stories, as best we can.
“NonniNonno” choreography/direction: Kim Epifano. Sound score/compositions/writing/performance: Kim Epifano, Jeff Morrison. “Blink” dance: Katie Duck. Music: Mary Oliver. Lighting design: Geronimo Omabtang.
Jennifer de Poyen
HIGH STAKES – Erk Aschengreen – Berlingske Tidende 18/1/02
A fair share of both prizes and blanks in Dansecenens Improvisations
lottery. To use improvisation, not just as a working process and preparation for a dance piece but also at that very moment a dancer stands on stage is to play high stakes. This is clearly evident in the immensely well-organized improvisation festival Meet the Parents that Dansecenen is presenting this week. A festival that focuses on the concept of improvisation, which has played such an important role in contemporary dance over the last 50 years.
In the afternoon events, presented by dance researcher, Karen Vedel and
Berlingske Tidendes Vibeke Wern who interviews the artists, we get an
insight into the method. In the evening we see how and if it functions.
The Italian, Alexander Certini who opened the eveningâ€™s first performance was proof that some evenings are more successful than others. We saw him on one of the others. Pierre DÃ¸rge was a worthy musical opponent. Inventive and fun on all types of strange instruments. On occasion they met rhythmically and Certini captured the magic of the space, but mostly the musical accompaniment was too strong. The dancer could not keep the form, falling back on talking nonsense into the microphone about his nose. It was not very funny even though the patient audience willing clutched at any straw.
David Zambrano from Venezuela also had a brilliant accompanist in Wilbert de Joode, who played, danced and conjured with his double bass. The dancer played back with just as much energy, switching from a small Chaplin-like figure, clowning around, to the macho Spaniard.
Katie Duck from the USA followed after the break, giving a very varied and accomplished solo performance. If it was completely improvised, she
certainly made it work in an extraordinarily elegant way. She had an amusing rapport with the audience and some wonderfully grand dance scenes where she took in the whole space accompanied by Bach or Spanish folk songs. It was a joy to see her move.
Katie Duck created an atmosphere; she gave the audience something. Whilst with other improvisational artists one wonders every once in a while if their own obsession with the actual process sometimes obscures the fact that the reason for standing in public, on stage, is first and foremost about sending something to the audience. This evening the improvisation roundabout turns again with new artists and the chance of a prize. Take a shot.