FERN KATZ & Collaborators
Residency: August 27 to September 2, 2023
Community Workshop: August 31, 2023
Presentation: September 2, 2023
"Lucky Star", choreography and performance by Sierra Hendrix
"Living Dolls", choreography and direction by Fern Katz
Choreographer and director Fern Katz has performed in many different dance companies and productions – but when she wants to create her own work, she comes home to the Berkshires. “This is my creative home,” she said. “Somewhere I can hunker down and find support.”
In preparation for the Sept. 2 show, Katz brought along five other dancers (Sierra Hendrix, Helena Vasconcelos, Alice Chacon, Laura Carella, Cove Barton) and musician Miguel Sobral Curado for a week-long residency at the Adams Theater. They worked together to create “a shared movement language” and held an open rehearsal while in residency.
“Open rehearsals can be interesting and help people to connect and understand the process of creating performance art,” Katz said. “Sometimes you feel distant from a show and how it was created. I would like to share that process with people if they’re interested.”
On August 31, community members were invited to “Improvisation, Dance, Connection, and Party!” a two-hour movement exploration led by Katz. The intention behind this movement process was to offer space for each participant to connect with and expand their inner worlds, to connect with other participants, to find each individual physical capacity, and most importantly, to have fun. The workshop was open to all ages and abilities and is free to attend.
Katz said she loves to open events to the public so that she can create a meaningful experience that helps people understand dance at a deeper and more primal level. “Sometimes you get the most inspiration from folks who aren’t dancers, because the way they move is unique. It’s a daily way of moving, which is interesting as a choreographer who tries to move away from highly stylized techniques.”
Katz has been dancing since the age of two. Starting with the Albany Berkshire Ballet Company, she went on to perform and present work at Jacob's Pillow, The Foundry, Bard College at Simon's Rock, to various theaters in New York City, Portugal, and beyond. She has been performing professionally since 2014, and worked with esteemed choreographers such as Olga Rabetskaya and Sharon Fridman. She is currently a company member of physical dance theater company, Ordem do O (Lisbon, Portugal).
As a dance educator, Katz has taught at both Jacob's Pillow, Northfield Mount Hermon, and most frequently, Berkshire Pulse. She will enlist her years of knowledge as an educator and various techniques of movement such as Gaga, Feldenkrais, contemporary, classical dance, and more to create a safe, enriching, and fun environment for workshop participants.