10-12 December 11-5 £120

To book, or for further information, email Rob Hopper at wainsgatedances@gmail.com

Katie Duck has been working with improvisation since the 1970’s. Her performance and teaching work have inspired generations of artists and audiences, and she continues to work prolifically in the field. There is no stopping her!

Come and take part in this 3 Day Workshop exploring Katie’s highly tuned practice of live time composition. 


“Creativity is messy.


Three choices arise out of that 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.


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.


The challenging reality is that we volunteer to get in front of people and then more crazily, in a live time composition.
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 artist 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 artist 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.


This is similar to how music can affect 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.


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.”



Katie Duck has been a professional performer and maker since the early 1970’s. She has been an influential figure in how she has placed improvisation as an intricate element in composition and performance internationally, inspiring generations of performers, musicians and performance makers.


She set up the acclaimed Gruppo in Italy in 1979 and toured Europe with a host of productions. She was head of choreography at Dartington College of arts  in the late 1980’s. She joined the staff at Amsterdam Hogeschool voor de kunsten in 1991 teaching movement research, improvisation, composition and technique and founded the improvisational dance and music company Magpie in the 1990’s with whom she toured internationally. She has created numerous solo productions including her recent work CAGE which she is currently touring all over the world.


She continues to tour with Sharon Smith with the duet ABANDON HUMAN expressing their positions as feminists.




Katie’s career has included independent teaching, University teaching, set choreography’s, structured improvisations, music and dance real time performances and live streaming international performances. Her collaborations have been with musicians, visual artists, lighting designers, dancers, actors and comedians. She has initiated education courses and workshops, festivals and monthly performance series in her three bases Italy, England and Holland. She runs a Summer Intensive since 2009 to today over a three week period in Amsterdam that brings students for all over the world to study and do performances.




She has led dance companies, dance/music companies, advises young artists and has written text for her  performances as well as critical articles. Katie has a determination to continue her research in theatre, music, dance, text and performance. Alongside her vocational studies, her research has led her toward social studies, cultural studies and brain studies. She believes that her research must not be validated by way of academic speak alone but rather on her insistence to hear, see and take part in the practice.