For actors/ dancers/ performance artist, musicians and Improvisation World
“I have been teaching since I began to perform professionally in the mid 70’s. I am
dedicated to how process and research play a major role in how one can continue to be
artistic in how they approach their life and their work.
I have had the possibility to create material for my workshops out of a wide range of
practices in the performance arts. I have never formulated my teaching material into a
frozen body of knowledge. I do not believe that the accumulation of knowledge is how one
becomes a teacher. I believe that It is out of my practice and the practice I witness with a
students, that all knowledge becomes clarified in the lessons I am leading.
Now in my 60’s, I have been teaching workshops internationally and in University systems
for over 35 years. My enthusiasm for young artists to be able to initiate their practice is
shown in how I have continued to stay connected with new technologies, new research in
the physical sciences, economic and political issues, in relationship with the performing
arts and music fields.
The professional field of the arts has altered drastically in comparison to when I began
my practice in the mid 70’s. As part of my teaching, I encourage young artists to devise
strategies that allow for them to sustain research and creativity in the production of their
work and yet survive.
In her workshop, I take a microscopic view on the role improvisation plays in a live
performance combining my background in the performing arts with a curiosity for
advances in brain studies, music and movement research“
Movement Research/ Improvisation/ Composition
Towards the creation of work in a Music Theatre Platform
I guide performers through physical exercises that highlight how the eyes and ears affect
movement choices. I use lecture materials form met research (The developmental Brain
(“Why we learn to walk”) alongside exercises and games to engage the student physically,
exploring emotions, feelings, intuition and empathy as a means to support “Dance and/or
creative movement is fancy walking”.
I extend the workshop towards improvisation sessions by setting a fictional front in the
studio space and then declare this as a platform to choose pause, flow or exit. I highlight
how the limit of these three choices can already provide the frame for a composition to
take place, and that misunderstanding, coincidence, real time, interactivity, messiness and
inspiration are basic in a creative process.
These raw materials are integrated with the combined fact that everyone in the workshop
group can “choose”. 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. The practice of an
individuals development of presence is a critical process in the workshop be it in
movement, figure-object or vocals. I use games to set an example for building and
dropping the tension in a music theatre space by way of an individuals presence with an
emphasis on states of mind in performance, such as vulnerability and
expressionism. “Choice as Chance” is introduced to the workshop group as a composition
reality in how it allows 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
recognise that, in a creative composition process, time is passing in different perceived
speeds and that space is shifting in several dimensions at once. This awake fullness can
promote individual performance presence, composition alertness and an appetite for
Every day we will practice and engage with all of the aspects available to us in a music
theatre platform. I will centre on one area of study in lectures, practice, feedback and
reflection each day; sonic – tension – body / music – body – text / music – object – figure
Short text (lecture materials) from Katie’s workshop
Tell the brain to tell the mind to shut up — body obey me
Creativity is messy. Three choices arise out of the messiness; Pause Flow and Exit. Each
of these choices are a mountain of study and each of these choices are shared in the space
under the guidance of the performer/artists relationship to their public.
It is abundantly clear when the artist choice has been closed down by solutions portrayed
as “ideas”. Scrounging for authorship, these “ideas” place a filter between artist and public.
Off with their heads, let the artists choose.
I am not interested in the moment, even though it does feel good. I am interested in the
movement time and the fact that time is passing us by. Time moving is what we share with
music, sound, sonic, public and most obviously “life”.
The performer/dancer /actor/musician needs to be the best listener in the theatre in
order to read the sounds in a passing time. If you read the sounds in time you can write,
reveal and give presence to a sonic body.
A fully awake body is rarely pedestrian. The body awake needs to be discovered and
demands a discipline beyond everyday tasks. And yet when movement or dance does not
respect the beauty of the body in pedestrian, I become uncomfortable.
How the body works, how we see a body, it is not so different then in how we feel about
body. Anything less than feeling the body is like watching a dog trying to learn ballet.
The challenging reality is that we volunteer to get in front of people and then more crazy,
in a live time composition. We respect that the public have paid the ticket to judge us. That
it is their job is; to judge us. Certainly it is not our job to judge them or ourselves in this
enormously ridiculous process of live time performance.
Naturally one is nervous and even frightened. Those emotions integrate with the act of
volunteering to perform. In a most perfect way this combination creates a vulnerability
and humility with every single artistic choice. If I am no longer nervous before a gig then
something has gone terribly wrong.
There is a difference between seeing, looking and watching and a difference between
hearing and listening. An artists can choose if they wish for a public to watch or to see —
to hear or to listen.
I choose for the public to see and listen and do my best to gather a crowd in that quest. It
doesn’t always work and it is never 100% of the public. But because I choose it, who I am
as artists is clarified.
Are you interested in a public watching or looking at your body? Or do you want the
public to be reminded that they have a body?
In order to be bring an object into a performance space you need to fall in love. You need
to fall in love with the object knowing that it will never love you back. It is similar to how
music can effect the performer. With music, we actually fall into a delusional state of mind
and believe that the music loves you back. It doesn’t and you do need to objectify these
feelings in order to track how it is moving in time. But you do need to believe that the
object loves you back. Even though, it doesn’t. Love gives the impression that the object is
moving in time. That it is alive similar to music as object.[Salto de ajuste de texto]
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 neurone madness.