Joyce Theater

Kate Weare Takes Aim with Marksman


We have watched Kate Weare’s work develop for some time now. Nearly a decade ago, when Weare won The Joyce Theater’s 2007 A.W.A.R.D. Show!, a contest developed to identify emerging choreographic talent, we took notice right away.

Since that time, her work has returned to The Joyce on several occasions. Weare has been granted three Joyce Creative Residencies, and in her most recent, she began to develop Marksman, which will be presented at The Joyce November 9 - 13.

The Unexpected Kismet of Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks

The story of how ballet superstar Wendy Whelan and choreographer Brian Brooks’ new show Some of a Thousand Words began is the continuation, and in some ways, the culmination, of a moment of kismet several years ago when the two met at the Fire Island Dance Festival, in 2011. Whelan saw Brooks’ work, and was “smitten,” she says. The two connected after the show. “It was a meeting I’ll never forget. Brian was so down to earth and warm. I couldn't fathom that the cool urban intellect of his work came out of such a warm and lovable person,” says Whelan. Then, in 2012, Damian Woetzel, director of the Vail International Dance Festival, asked the two if they would be interested in working together on a solo for Whelan that would be set to live music by Brooklyn Rider, the popular string quartet. When the idea emerged, Whelan remembered her initial meeting with Brooks, and had a thought: What if she and Brooks were to dance together? And, what if this was be the beginning of a larger project?

The Dancer as Superhero

What inspired this new work? Did it start with the music?

Trey: It started with seeing the documentary Amy (2015), honestly. I was so taken with the film. I was taken with the things that I identify with in her life, or at least my projection of what I saw in the documentary maker’s version of her life.

What parts in particular did you connect with?

What I saw and felt was that her demise was really about being great. She was so special, and not just an incredible singer. She reinvented what that kind of jazz vocalist could be and made it completely unique. You cannot listen to her voice and not be taken to a place. [Her talent] was in some ways natural; it came out right out of her. She grew up in this working class life, and I think that the people around her didn’t know how to handle it. I think it’s easy to be judgmental. Her father doesn’t come off great in the documentary. But, how do we know what it is to have a child who is suddenly a mega superstar?