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Robert Abrams
Special Focus
Falls Center Parking Garage
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)
United States
Philadelphia, PA

An Interview with Kate Watson-Wallace of Kate Watson-Wallace/ anonymous bodies about their upcoming performance "AUTO" at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)

by Robert Abrams
March 30, 2011
Falls Center Parking Garage
3300 Henry Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19129

Featured Dance Company:

Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)
PIFA (office)
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Attn: PIFA Festival
260 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) is a sponsor of ExploreDance.com.

AUTO will be performed April 16 through May 1, 2011. Tickets are $20 each.
Robert Abrams: What is your role in the show?

Kate Watson-Wallace: I am the choreographer and director of the show.

RA: Please describe the performance you will present at PIFA.

KWW: AUTO is the partner piece to CAR, a show I made in and around a moving vehicle for Live Arts in 2008. In AUTO, the audience is OUTSIDE the car, following the action up 4 floors of a parking garage. It is a performance piece that happens on, around, and in relationship to a moving car.

Here is a description:

AUTO is a movement installation that takes place in and around a moving vehicle. Using the landscape of a parking garage, audience members move and are moved through a series of performance vignettes that inhabit the private and public space that is a car. AUTO investigates the body of performer/driver, the body of witness/passenger, and the body of the car itself. AUTO explores how we communicate when we are encased in a small piece of metal that can speed, stop, lock us in, blow us up, or crash at any moment. AUTO is a performance that takes place inside a parking garage. Audience members will be asked to walk throughout the garage during the performance. AUTO is the partner piece to CAR, the sold-out 2008 Live Arts hit.

RA: Have you collaborated with anyone to create your PIFA presentation?

KWW: Yes! All of the dancers are collaborators. They help generate movement material and bring ideas to the work as well. They are all brilliant movers, and smart people.

The dancers are: Eun Jung Choi Gonzalez, Makoto Hirano, John Luna, Megan Mazarick, Daniele Strawmyre, Zach Svoboda, Michele Tantoco.

I have an amazing design and production team too! The composer is: Josh Cicetti. The Costume designer is: Millie Hiibel. The Production Manager is: Katherine Emery Cooper and the Stage Manager is: Lauren Mandilian.

Christopher Plant is the co-producer, and found the space for us!

RA: What has this collaboration allowed you to achieve that would not have been possible without it?

KWW: I'm a big vision person, who is on a life-long quest to get good at details. All of my collaborators bring an intelligence and precision in their craft that brings the work to life. They inspire me to be detailed and focused in the making of the work. My style as a maker is to highlight and pull out what people are best at.

RA: In your art that you are presenting at PIFA, what is unexpected? Are the unexpected elements spoilers you would rather not have revealed before the show?

KWW: Ha ha! Yes. Come to the show. Follow your guide, and let the piece take you where it goes!

RA: What is "new" about the art you are presenting at PIFA?

KWW: I don't think anything is "New." I think there are just new takes on things.

RA: What is the connection between your show at PIFA and Paris between 1910 and 1920?

KWW: Innovation, I was told. There's another loaded term for you!

RA: If audience members were seeing your PIFA show for the second time, what should they pay special attention to in order to enhance their appreciation of your art?

KWW: I try to create performance experiences that allow you to be in the moment. Do that, and you'll be fine.

RA: Does your art have an activist message?

KWW: I don't believe in didactic political messaging in my art. My art is political for the following reasons:

1. It is being made in a time and a country where art is put on the back burner by our government.

2. There is a woman directing it, in a culture where women usually get paid less for doing the same jobs as men.

I think making art, in and of itself, is a political act.

RA: Do you work with schools or children?

KWW: There will be some children in the flash mob project I am doing.

RA: What else would you like people who are thinking about purchasing a ticket to your show to know about your art?

KWW: If they are interested, they can go to www.katewawa.com.

To purchase a ticket to this show, go to www.pifa.org/events/980193329.
To purchase tickets to all PIFA dance events, go to www.pifa.org/events?bucket_id=1.
For more information about Kate Watson-Wallace/ anonymous bodies, go to www.katewawa.com.
To follow PIFA on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/PIFAPhilly.
To "Like" PIFA on FaceBook, go to www.facebook.com/PIFA.Philly.


Photo © & courtesy of Jacques-Jean Tiziou

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