Choreographer, Kate Watson-Wallace was one of the first artists I met when I worked in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. She was at the very beginning of AMERICAN SPACES—a trilogy of site-specific performances made in a house, a store front, and a car. Yes, she made a piece where dancers and audience members were in a moving car. What a thrill.
Jaamil Kosoko, her collaborator & dramaturg on the project writes,
“Kate’s practice as a performance maker, visual artist, and activist is based in a feminist ideology that believes women are complex, powerful human beings who each create their OWN version of what makes them powerful and relevant in society.”
Her performances, which often feel more like installations, are fresh and provocative. She’s got style. Her interests in fashion, pop culture, feminist theory, race theory, performance art, and her deep love of music all come through in her work.
She’s got a great eye, and the costumes, video projections and lighting she creates are always rich and beautiful, full of texture.
She takes risks and often her work makes me uncomfortable, but sometimes that’s the point. Even in the moments when she pushes her audience (there’s often unexpected nudity, sexual innuendo, or a graphic gesture) she’s not simply toying with us. Rather, she’s inviting us into her world and asking us to reconsider how we see her (and ourselves).
For MASH UP BODY, Kate assembled an all-female and gender-queer cast accompanied by rich sound work from collaborator Christopher Sean Powell. The performers — Marjani Forte, Devynn Emory, Cory Olinghouse and Jasmine Hearn — are in a word, fierce. Our amazing production team, Melanie Paglia and Scott Nelson have transformed the Alloy Studios.
MASH UP BODY is a nonlinear experience; there where many stories are told. You have to get into it. In some moments you will find yourself lost. Just expect it, come free of restraints, and, as Jaamil says, “enjoy the ride!”
one of my favorite projects was producing Faustin’s work in Philadelphia. a contemporary congolese choreographer who makes dance theater pieces, usually accompanied by incredible live music. He’s part of a series at the MOMA that pairs six choreographers for showings. i don’t know that i’ll get to NYC for any of this; definitely worth checking out.