Katema premiered at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in March 1978. Childs performed Katema on tour during the late 1970s, across the United States and in Europe. Previously performed as a solo only by Childs, it was reinvented as a quartet for the Philadelphia performances in 2013.

Katema in performance, Friday, October 4, 2013, at FringeArts, Philadelphia. Dancers: Nora Gibson, Gabrielle Revlock, Michele Tantoco, and Annie Wilson.

Katema takes place entirely on diagonal pathways. A simple walking pattern interspersed with pivot turns, backwards walking, and inward and outward turns accumulates over the course of five sections. A full diagonal crossing occurs once in section four and twice in succession in section five.

October 4, 2013



Nora Gibson
Gabrielle Revlock
Michele Tantoco
Annie Wilson

Production collaborators

Lighting: Gregory Bain

October 6, 2013

The University of the Arts


Nora Gibson
Janet Pilla/Annie Wilson
Gabrielle Revlock
Michele Tantoco

Production collaborators

Lighting: Gregory Bain

“The solo Katema was about finding natural movement placement for the arms generated by changes of direction in walking and pivot turns on a single diagonal with phrases of different lengths. For this version, I could not resist putting this together with two pairs of dancers in a quartet, to mirror each other from opposite sides. While the footwork and timing between the two couples is identical, the use of the arms, which comes from their individual energy and attack, is altogether different. It has not been my intention to have the dancers imitate my performance of the solo in the 16mm black-and-white film by Renato Berta, but rather to understand the underlying principles involved, in order to arrive at the same physical dynamic.”

—Lucinda Childs, 2013

Premiere: March 12, 1978

Stedelijk Museum

First cast

Lucinda Childs

Production collaborators

Costumes: Christina Giannini
Lighting: Beverly Emmons

Additional works on program

Particular Reel (1973)
Cross Words (1976)
Plaza (1977)

Subsequent dates of program

March 16, 1978
Salle Simón I. Patiño, Geneva

March 17, 1978
Kunsthaus Zürich

March 21, 1978
Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland

Subsequent program with other works

Plaza (1977)
work-in-progress with Philip Glass


October 24–28, 1978
The Kitchen Center for Video, Music and Dance, New York

December 4–5, 1978
MoMing Collection, Chicago

December 7, 1978
Université de Montréal/Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montreal

December 9, 1978
Minnesota Dance Theatre/Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

December 11, 1978
Portland Center for the Visual Arts, Portland, OR

December 14, 1978
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

January 5, 1979
HOT (Haags Ontmoetingscentrum Theaterkunsten) Theater, Den Haag, Netherlands

January 6, 1979
The Lantern, Rotterdam

January 7, 1979
The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

January 11–13, 1979
Riverside Studios, London

Performance history as of December 2014.

Katema was filmed at the Kunsthaus Zürich in March 1978 by Eric Franck, Artco Films S.A. Geneva, with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional credits for the film include: photography by Renato Berta, sound by Mathias Knauer, editing by Georg Janett, and assistants Jean-Luc Wey and André Simmen. Laboratory: Cinégram Zürich.

This film is available to view in the archive section of this publication.

Archival Media

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