Friday, April 10, 2015

Katie Workum: "making a living dance" at Danspace Project

Constellations and Influences: Katie WorkumMy most significant artistic influence(s) is/are: chronologically: Nell Carter, Peter Schmitt, Leigh Garrett, Will Rawls, Terry Dean Bartlett, Stacy Dawson Stearns, David Neumann, Annie B-Parson, DD Dorvillier, Eleanor Smith, and Weena Pauly. Because each one of these people has floored me, inspired me, and made me do what I do now.Katie Workum’s Black Lakes premieres this Thursday-Saturday at Danspace Project.Photo: Ross Karre
Dancers Weena Pauly (l) and Katie Workum
(photo: Ross Karre)

Here's Ross Karre's lovely photo of dancers Weena Pauly and Katie Workum engaged in a contemplative somatic practice called Authentic Movement. This practice forms the basis for Black Lakes, a trio Workum presents this weekend at Danspace Project with collaborators Pauly and Eleanor Smith.
Authentic movement is a profoundly simple form in which a mover moves with eyes closed in the presence of a witness. Rooted in Jungian depth psychology, it is a practice that stands alone with its own integrity.
--Zoë Avstreih, Founder/Director, Center for the Study of Authentic Movement
Each performance of Black Lakes is created by three deeply engaged dancers right before your eyes. Found movement. From the inside. And what I saw last night will not be what you might see tonight or tomorrow.

How does that alter how a concert audience looks at movement and relationships sparked in the moment versus how we look at set choreography? Authentic Movement requires not only a mover but a witness who receives perception of the movement without judgment.

It reduces the typical expectations--what makes sense? what is right? what is perfect? It heightens alertness to everything emerging as well as awareness of the witness's own inner stirrings. The hour-long Black Lakes reminded me of the trusting flight into open air that, for me, is my experience of giving a Tarot reading, a container for the arrival and expression of anything, the next thing and the next after that.

With Black Lakes, Workum, who has been making dance in more traditional ways since 1997, offers us a view into what she has begun exploring with Pauly over the past few years. Her program notes address the reason for this shift and invite the audience to be Witness as understood in Authentic Movement terms.

Black Lakes continues tonight and tomorrow night with performances at 8pm. For information and tickets, click here.

Danspace Project
131 East 10th Street (at Second Avenue), Manhattan

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