Photo Irene Fabri
“Improvisation in Katie Duck performances is not the antithesis of choreography or composition; it is how she makes her art work out of practice both in the studio setting and the newness of real time improvised performance. Her performances are about the experience of being there, you are participating in the event and thus, in a sense, the work”. Katie Duck’s practice is a reflection of what she believes art in the theatre can only be; live. Her exhibition of the body in theatre, dance or music is a reflection of the un edited human condition with an aim to remind public’s that they indeed have a body. She has developed a manifesto in how she conducts research, rehearsal processes, and workshops towards performances. It excludes aspects of dance, theatre and music styles in order to include her research i contemporary brain studies. She creates performances offering the body, mind and presence in a sound driven space to public’s.
Katie is a director/performer/teacher who devises her solos and group pieces from the point of view of her practice. Her themes and her workshop materials are thick with theoretical research, however, her practice is her main means to arrive toward a performance. She does not consider herself to be a choreographer, in so much, she does not set movement combinations. She has concluded that frames of movements are best left for the performer to create under the conditions of choice. Her rehearsal processes towards a theme and score are short in comparison to the amount of study a performer needs to do with her. Her methodology with score demands that the performer is able to execute moment to moment choices in confrontation with live public’s.
Katie is 65 years old. When she leads her workshops or performs, she seems to defy the laws of ageing. Perhaps that is because her work with body/mind/performance is an on-going research.
“Katie Duck is the God mother of dance Improvisation” Jacqueline Algra (Volksgrant the Netherlands)
“”Crazy” is based on a film she participated in “Limbs” by Kagi Jong kag Park. The film follows the limbs of a body in homelessness. Her solo explores the stigma we project on those who are living with particularly diverse minds and perception. Katie uses schizophrenia as her main theme after spending several year of research in mental wards. The piece is performed without a specific sequence of events. She chooses her sequence in each performance according to the location and time frame. Movement, text, film and sound are laced moment to moment as she shifts the theatre space; dropping the performative and suddenly lifting it. “Tell the brain to tell the mind to SHUT UP”
“Cage” We view distressing events daily and are able to tuck this in a pocket of our consciousness until eventually panic attach grips our spirits and anything social seems beyond reason. The human condition to feel what we see and hear is numbed, boxed away in the normal. Emotions are messy. “Cage” investigates how the mind is held back by our social inability to release emotions. The piece confronts how emotions are key to intellectual wisdom in how we can accept and respond day to day to the variable of expressions in human nature and, how language has frozen society in a delusional concept of equal rights and economic stability. Change can happen only if we are prepared to allow for emotion to be placed as paramount in intellectual discourse.
The performance contains images from Catholicly (nuns) and agoraphobia (illness) as a means to provide a theatrical theme. Katie was inspired to create “Cage” when she discovered a black dress that she could physically transform into images for her themes alongside a chair, three wigs, text, movement and sound. Her text is as non narrative as her movement material. Her words are confrontational (Vagina) placed in and around her use of space and objects that she discovers in each location.
Katie is not trying to force the meaning of her solos on the public. She places her materials in unexpected time frames with a poetic sequencing of events in order to leave an impression of what it is she wishes to convey.
GROUP WORK (on-going)
In her group work, Katie uses a theme as the spine for her scores and transforms the theatre with her lighting and music design. Because her work is non narrative and that the performers choices are what move the piece live time, the bulk of her process is a workshop. She prepares the performers to radically make choices in confrontation with live public and then applies the score, music/sound and light in the finale days. She creates a situation where everyone is in deep process of the creation with an aim to insure that the event is readable for publics and yet leave each of the performers with a unique experience that they can use in what ever way is useful for their creative processes
Katie also leads group work events where the participants are placed in a situation to create their own work. In these processes the participants can collaborate with musicians, film, text, sound and lighting of their own choice. Katie workshops with the participants, does tutorial advising sessions with groups about their creation process towards performance and then leads the situation towards an event much like the “Freakatoni Witchy Weekends” (Amsterdam improvisation summer course). Participants are encouraged to provide short pieces that are scores set in live time and to centre on the collaborative in their rehearsals. In these group works, Katie uses her background collaborating with musicians, actors, dancers and singers.
Required for commissions outside Holland: Air travel round trip / Hotel / Per diems / salary
Non profit organisation the Netherlands: Stichting Magpie / Wilhelminastraat 139-3 1054 WC Amsterdam, the Netheralnds / BTW # NL8112.78.062 / KVK # 34182907