Posed and Answered with Kate Wallich of The YC
Kate Wallich is a choreographer, director and teacher. The YC is her dance company founded with Lavinia Vago in 2010 in Seattle, Washington. Her work has been commissioned and presented nationally and internationally by On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center, The Rauschenberg Foundation, MANA Contemporary, Springboard Danse Montréal, Northwest Dance Project, Cornish College of the Arts, Henry Art Gallery, Bumbershoot, Conduit, City Arts, The Frye Art Museum, W’him Whim and Seattle Art Museum/Olympic Sculpture Park among others. She has also taught workshops and held lecture-demonstrations around the collaborations involved in her work in Seattle, Montréal and New York. Kate has created 2 evening-length works with The YC; Super Eagle commissioned through Velocity Dance Center’s Made In Seattle program and Splurge Land commissioned through On the Board’s Performance Production Program. She is among Seattle’s top contemporary dance teachers, leading packed classes through her own brand of movement.
What is your favorite part of each day?
Mornings. They are ritualistic for me.
When was the last time you saw a work of art and were left speechless, in any art medium?
Anne Hamilton’s The Common Sense was beautiful. It was clear, thoughtful and gave an opportunity for the viewer to create a personal experience inside of the greater meta of the work.
How do current trends affect your work( you)?
I pull a lot of information from popular culture in making my work, especially from fashion and design. There is so much imagery in pop culture that is relevant. I like distilling from this place.
When you have an idea for a project how much do you leave open ended for your dancers to shape and how much do you prepare prior to rehearsals?
I enter a process with concepts and general formatting in place. The choreography is manifested in the rehearsal studio, created specifically on each dancer. I rarely ask dancers to generate material. If I do, its less about choreography and more about bringing a persona or personality to the dialogue of the material. Rehearsals are filled with a lot of conversations around the work we are creating. I wouldn’t be able to create the fully realized work without the dancer’s in the room with me.
In your eyes, what is lacking in the dance world?
I’m excited about the dance world taking on new formats for presentation and distribution. Touring is expensive and difficult, creating high budget pieces that last for such short runs, limiting opportunity for exposure and time for a work to live and breathe. In thinking about longevity of work and sustainability of the people in this form, personally I am excited about how works can manifest in different genres. Creating an album that lives beyond the live performance or a film relic that can circuit the internet. Creating blogs that capture process or even making the internet a place for live performance to live. I think we are on the verge of embracing these necessary changes. It takes a lot of time to create a stage work from initial concept phase all the way to premiere. Making performance more dimensional in terms of its output excites me.
Favorite Seattle restaurant?
Cafe Presse. It’s the cutest little french restaurant with cheap demi-pichets for after rehearsal.
Do you cross train?
In between rehearsal residencies I cross train more than I take class. I run at the gym or on soft trails, take yoga, and boulder at the climbing gym.
Where do you and how do you find new music?
I spend a lot of time researching new music on the internet. I often get caught in these crazy deep black holes of gnarly music and have no clue how I even got there. Generally a search will start on some magazine website like V or Dazed and blossom from there. My friend Al is a good resource too.
Do you think its important for aspiring dancers to go to college?
I learned the most about myself as a person post-college. That feels like the important thing. Maybe I would have found that sooner if I went to college for something other than dance, but for me college was necessary. I needed that time to try to fit into a box and then realize how much I didn’t want to be in that box. My education in the dance world beyond technique was rewarding. Specifically classes like dance history and movement analysis. Honestly, I think we all should have gone to school for business or design so we could do our own branding and figure out how to make lots of money, but who knows what the work would look like then.