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 and music backgrounds. Her only concern is that anyone who studies in her workshop have a deep interest in the material she will be sharing with the participants.
Katie guides the dancers and performers through physical exercises that highlight how the eyes and ears affect movement choices and developmental brain studies about “why we learn 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.
Working with musicians live in improvisation platforms has provided an experience for her to study sound as part of how tension is created in a space and further, how it effects the way one feels when creating movement.
Workshops can be booked in relationship to performance commissions and/or workshops can lead toward a performance with the student group if their is sufficient time given for the process.
“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.”