Reflecting on Katie Faulkner’s Divining
Every now and then I get an invitation to write a reflection or review for another blog. It was a pleasure to catch Faulkner’s most recent work and write for Life as a Modern Dancer.
Sometimes it’s hard to write about a choreographer or a dancer you know. Other times it’s easy, and this evening one of those times. I’ve known Faulkner since 2007; we met shortly after I moved to San Francisco. I was always struck by her generous spirit and playful sense of humor, which were on stunning display Thursday night.
Aptly titled “Deep Field,” a solo performed by Faulkner, was an embodiment of profound reflection about a history of process and a particular field of communication. The sonic and visual landscape by Michael Trigilio and Heather Stockton respectively amplified the autobiographical nature that Faulkner so clearly danced. Even without the choreographer’s note, Faulkner’s movements spoke – each gesture, glance, vibration – from the inside out. It was personal, but relatable – a clarity of telling that I could feel in my bones.
“Coat of Arms” induced small bursts of laughter from the audience – a kind of seismic response. The subtle gazes and slight gestures performed with such stunning precision created a witty duet that reflected the universal quirk of relationships.
The last piece, “Don’t Worry Baby,” was harder to grasp, harder to feel. It was more sculptural than the other pieces and as a result it felt different. While superbly danced the piece for me seemed a little distant or disconnected somehow.
Faulkner closed her choreographers note “with gratitude,” and that is how I felt at the end of the evening. I left the theater with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for Faulkner’s choreographic vision and courage to put so much of herself on stage. It was an honor that I can’t wait to repeat.