About Me

Salt Lake Mime Troupe 1974

I have been a professional performer and maker since the early 1970s. I was born in Oxnard, California (1951 near Los Angels) and began performing in plays and musicals by the age of 10. I attended the University of Utah as a modern dance major after high school and then joined the Salt Lake City Mime Troupe touring in the United States and Europe. (1973-75).

I left the United States in 1974 to live in Amsterdam, Holland, and toured throughout Europe as a maker and performer in my solo productions, in duet with Carlos Traffic and in with improvisation musicians Ernst Reijseger (cello), Tristan Honsinger (cello), Sean Bergen (sax) and Michael Moore (sax) and many others. I changed my name to Katie Duck while touring my first solo in Europe “The Duck Play” in 1976. I have used this as my artistic identity title ever since.


In 1979, I moved to Italy where I studied and performed for different directors and performance artists groups. I formed a company, GROUPO,  in 1980 creating one-hour productions based on storylines and soundtracks. We toured throughout Europe and the United Kingdom with the productions Rutles, The Orange Man, Brown eye Green eye and Mind the gap. Alongside these tours, I participated in freelance improvisation collaborations with dance artists Julyen Hamilton and Steve Paxton (among others) and music artists Tristan Honsinger, Derek Bailey, Han Bennik (among others). In this period I began to conduct my research on Multidisciplinary practices and the position improvisation plays in the creation process of compositions using recourses from electronic and acoustic music, play text, storyboarding, poetry, and movement studies.   

For my GROUPO productions in the 80”s I created my own sound scores that played on reel-to-reel tape alongside the performance. The performances were designed to work alongside my soundtracks with a hidden cue system. As I learned more about technology I followed the advancements in electronic music creation processes, recording, and sound scores for my performance projects. The advancements in technology started to make it possible for me to be independent as a Multidisciplinary artist.  

Reunion 2024 Florence Italy Groupo(Katie Duck, Alessandro Certini, Charlotte Zerby, Virgilio Siena)                                       


In 1986 I accepted a senior lecturer position at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, UK teaching for the theatre department and leading the choreography course. I had been touring for 12 years and could now continue my research using the archive and international music department that was available within the college grounds. 


In 1991 I accepted a post at the University of Amsterdam, Nederlands, AHK Hooge School voor de Dunsten dance departments, SNDO department teaching movement research, improvisation, composition and technique. I began to redirect my work in the professional field touring in Europe, South America and Asia and the USA with musicians whom I had worked with since the 70’s and organizing my research into practice with solos and workshops.


I founded the company MAGPIE (1995-2005) combining performance artists, and dancers in Amsterdam at the Fijnhout Theater, Melkweg theatre, and OT301 Cultural Centre. We did extensive tours during this in national and international programs and festivals, exposing the work to a broad range of cultures, viewers, and contexts. Every performance combined different artists from the MAGPIE collective of artists with Katie Duck as curator and Ellen Knops as lighting designer in each situation. The collective held a tight rehearsal process that was then performed loose (improvised). 

This tight rehearsal process towards a loose performance practice came out of the research I conducted in the UK as a professor alongside my interest in the internet evolution that arrived by the late 1980”. When I relocated to Amsterdam, I created international focus groups for email announcements and encouraged artists to build their internet presence as part of their creative work. By 2003 I began to collaborate with (USA) dance artists and internet communication expert Justin Morrison who introduced me to facets of internet communications that allowed for me to create a presence with film editing and live-streamed performances from the USA to Europe. 


Xmas Workshop (1999 to now) I  have been holding a workshop in the holiday period in Amsterdam. I hope that artists choose to spend their holiday period with a moment of work in mind as the New Year changes over each year. I do a Music Theatre workshop in the  OT301 Studio 1 with a full sound system. It is for musicians, dancers, actors, singers and performance artists.

The Improvisation Summer Course Amsterdam (2009 to now) is a gathering if international artists to participate in a Course Program for three weeks, towards real-time compositions. The work that evolves out of the Course Program is placed in front of a live public within the Freakatoni Witchy Weekend Festival every Friday and Saturday evening. Improvisation is not the antithesis of choreography or composition within the Summer Course Program. It is how the artwork is created and how the interdisciplinary practices merge in both the studio rehearsal setting and the newness of real-time improvised performance. We accept participants from all backgrounds, ages, nationalities, orientations, and experiences who have a curiosity for interdisciplinary collaboration in the context of real-time performance. 

Sunday Sessions OT301 Cultural Centre Amsterdam (2014 to now) held weekly for artists who are doing real-time composition performances and need a place to practice integrating diverse time arts under the conditions of improvisation. The sessions are not workshops or jams but rather improvisation situations that demand the dancer, actor, musician, or singer to place their work with compositional integrity in consideration of the public. These sessions give an opportunity to widen your artistic palate and question the integration of multidisciplinary time arts and real-time composition.

The work

I created CAGE in 2014 as a solo making sound tracks, a video for a back drop, 4 text titles, a dress and three wigs. Eventually this piece evolved into duet that I performed all over the world collaborating with a local performing artists, changing the sound track related to each culture, re working the score with the person with whom I rehearsed the duet. CAGE was played right up until the pandemic, the last performance I did in Salzburg just as the pandemic broke in March 2020. I am waiting for CAGE to be played again.

I reunited with best my friend Sharon Smith to create Abandon Human in 2015, a glorious duet, performance artists who have known each other for over 20 years, a feminist celebration; never the victim always the survivor spectacle driven by text, movement and our emotions. Abandon Human played in England post pandemic, alive and well.

I am in a process with Erik van de Wijdeven and Maria Mavridou with the piece Brazen Delinquents, text driven with movement explosions with live lighting and sound.

University Retirement

I was able to conduct tours part of the year alongside my contract at the University of Amsterdam, SNDO from 1991 to 2016 when I retired. Since then I have been touring in Asia, the USA, South America, North America, England, Scandinavia, and Europe with my workshop and performance projects. During the pandemic from 2020 to 2022, I taught Body classes and multidisciplinary workshops in my Attic studio located in my home. I initiated a series of performances that gathered artists to view and create experimental art projects.


I survived the pandemic teaching classes in the attic studio in my home in Amsterdam. I continue to do these classes alongside tutorials. I learned how to be home to work. Post pandemic I am back to traveling through time warps past to the present day, as a witness and participant. Life is messy. Emotions are messy. Creativity is messy. My life and my work are messy.

Performance projects: 


Abandon Human 

Collaborative real time performances that arrive out of my workshop processes.

Workshops and classes: 

-Multidisciplinary Music for actors, singers, dancers, text artists, performance artist. 

-Improvisation Composition for dancers “Creation processes for real time Performance”

-Body Body Body classes

Writing and Research





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