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Catherine Verheyde, who followed the theater since an earlier age, knew from the time she passed her baccalaureate in mathematics that she wanted to be a lighting designer. First, she obtained degree in History at the University of Lille-III. Catherine then attended one of France's most prestigious theater schools, "La rue Blanche" (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et des Techniques du Théâtre). There she studied French with Ionesco's daughter and lighting design with Gerald Karlikow. Her theater adventures have taken her to Ethiopia, Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Catherine's lighting design work includes exhibitions, plays, dances, concerts, and operas.

It was during the 1988 filming of the Antoine Campo music video, Ophélie Song, that Catherine was first introduced to dancer/choreographer/singer Clara Gibson Maxwell by Karlikov. She has been Maxwell's steady collaborator ever since, including The Banquet at Taliesin West, Corpsensus, Le Corps-Éros, Cartesian Women, and Buried Oak, the majority of these performances being site-responsive events.

Since their encounter with Ornette Coleman in 1990, Clara and Catherine have embarked on a continuing independent investigation into light and movement. They read Paul Klee's lecture on the Bauhaus and Malevich's manifesto on Suprematism together. They followed Coleman's concerts at Royal Festival Hall in London and designer Richard Nelson's work with Steve Reich in Vienna. In 1992, they visited the drawing exhibition of Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Waiting for rehearsals of Buried Oak at the Palazzo Bardi in Florence, Itay, Verheyde explored the Uffizi Gallery in Florence over several weeks. Maxwell and Verheyde studied light and movement in a special workshop with Jennifer Tipton and Dana Reitz in Brussels, Belgium. This collaborative continued education has extended to residencies in New England and Arizona. At Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, she was able to follow lectures of Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's lighting-for-architecture expert Donald Aiken.