I n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y P e r f o r m a n c e
I currently teach two performance courses at The University of the Arts, Image and Performance, and Performance in the Freshman Core program.
Image and Performance is an elective open to all departments in The University. The course is a 6 hour class offered as a 3 credit elective, with a group in a 3 hour 1.5 section joining us in the second half of the class. This latter section is primarily for students from Performing Arts.
Most of the students in the 3 credit section have had no performance experience. Majors taking the class have come from Crafts, Dance, Theater, Sculpture, Book Arts, Photography, Multimedia, Film/Video, Animation, Multidisciplinary Fine Arts, Music, etc.
In the first weeks of the first section, I introduce students to some of the principles of performance in a number of introductory improvisations - four examples of which are:
Carrying an object as if it were explosive (to emphasize concentration, and focus on a task rather than oneself).
Live sound improvisation in the dark (to introduce the concept of structure in time art/use of patterns and silence.
Animal Improv - Half the class is the audience. The audience calls out animal names, (elephant, little dogs, monkeys, camels, etc.) and the performing students must become these animals, including making their sounds. This improv uses a primal energy to allow students to enter fully into a performative experience, and is usually very funny, with some very unexpected interpretations.
Improvising with one's shadow - I use a video I have prepared for this improv, including landscape scenes, textures, etc. and audio. It is projected on the screen and groups of students improvise in front of it, designing their shadows into the imagery.
We also often dance in class to a variety of music; rhythmical, as well as abstract works such as John Cage's "Music for Marcel Duchamp".
The class is given assignments throughout the semester that consist of building blocks to encourage concentration, conceptualizing, and confidence. Students work solo or in groups, creating pieces in these assignments which include:
Absence of Light - Working with a single graphic projection, each student presents a short shadow event
The Still Image - Integrating two graphic images with the performer in the form of masks and still images.
The Exquisite Corpse - The use of costume to create a persona and to transform oneself.
The Power of Sound - The effect of live/recorded audio, or silence on performance.
The Challenge of What Moves - Addressing the delicate balance between moving components and the live performer. (can be video, sculpture, etc.)
The Language of Color - Taking advantage of the vocabulary of color to further articulate a performance.
The Alter Ego - Instilling a symbolic or magical presence on an inanimate being.
Beginnings and Endings/Entrances and Exits - the importance of how a work opens and finishes; how it creates a resonance in the viewer’s memory.
In the Still Image class , students begin the session improvising with all the masks they have brought in to discover the freedom and imagination that these provide for performance. This improvisation is useful to show students how the use of a mask can give one protection and confidence, as well as allowing one to transform oneself in performance.
In the latter part of the first session, and continuing into the 1.5 credit session, student present their assigned performances, with discussion and assessment by everyone. I usually let the class give their reactions, before I make my comments.
At the end of the semester, students work together to produce a concert of their selected works, which is presented to The University and is open to the public. This includes taking photos in class to promote the event, and assigning production roles: stage manager, promotion, tech run, backstage management, etc. They are also assigned to write a paper which is an artistic statement on any of their pieces in the course, including process, influences, intent, concepts. In this paper, students find a voice and a personal vocabulary to express their art.
With the exception of the concert in the above course, students in Freshman Performance are given the same improvisations and assignments. However, their assignments are more frequently group works, with only a few producing solo pieces.
Both classes are shown a wide variety of work in the field, including Japanese Butoh dance, Fluxus performance, Bauhaus performance, Yoko Ono ("Cut Piece"), puppetry (Paul Zaloom's use of overhead projection), Robert Wilson, Alwin Nikolais, Anna Halprin, inter-active performance works, etc. Students are encouraged to bring in examples that they have found themselves. I consider the introduction of these artists' works to students to be a vibrant and activating source for the imagination and creation of the art, and this is usually shown in the beginning of class. In Image and Performance it is shown in the start of the first section, with a few pieces reserved for the 1.5 credit section exposing those performing arts students to experimental sources they might not have seen,
Kathy Rose’s work has evolved from her early drawn animated films of the 1970s, through her unique, pioneering performance work combining dance with film in the 1980-1990s, to her current surreal performance-video spectacles and installations, with influence from symbolist art and the Japanese Noh theater. Rose received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Performance Art in 2003, and in 2005 was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant in Video (Media & New Technology).
Rose has toured extensively in live performance throughout the United States and Europe, her numerous appearances include the Museum of Modern Art’s Cineprobe, Kennedy Center, Serious Fun at Lincoln Center, Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, the Walker Art Center,The Kitchen, Institute of Contemporary Art in London, Danspace-St. Marks Church, Baltimore Art Museum, Akademie der Kunst/Berlin, Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as performances in Geneva, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Hiroshima, etc. Recent performances also include Cal Arts, University of Southern California/"Visions and Voices" series, and the Living Arts of Tulsa/New Genres series.
Recent videos have been exhibited at: Dance on Camera/Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival , DANCE/VIDEO FESTIVAl/, Edinburgh,Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema, InShadow –Festival of Video, Performance and Technology – Lisbon, Il Correografica-Electronica/Naples, Espacio/Art Techmedia/Canary Islands, Dance Camera West at the Redcat Theater, Los Angeles; Budapest Autumn Festival; American Dance Festival; Montage Video Dance, Johannesburg, South Africa; Dance 07 Dance/Video Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland; and Motion Pictures 07 Dance Film/Video Festival Philadelphia, etc
A program of Rose's videos were shown at the Centre Pompidou on October 2011 in the festival "A Shaded View on Fashion and Film".
Her video installation work was shown at the Aldrich Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum(in "A & V and the V & A"), Henson Puppetry Installation Exhibition at Cooper Union, etc.
She has received a Guggenheim in Performance Art, six grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, four from the New York State Council for the Arts and three from the New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as grants from Harvestworks Digital, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, American Film Institute, Finishing Funds/Experimental Video Center and others. Grants were awarded in categories including film, dance, choregraphy, Interarts and video. Rose is a Distinguished Alumna of the California Institute of the Arts.
Rose teaches several courses at the University of the Arts, including Image and Performance, Autobiographical Media, and Performance in the Freshmen program. She has a BFA in Film from the Philadelphia College of Art (1971) and an MFA in Animation from the California Institute of the Arts (1974).