Kate Wallich is a choreographer, director and teacher. The YC is her dance company founded with Lavinia Vago in 2010 in Seattle, Washington.
Kate’s 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 her work at University of Washington, University of Oregon, Velocity Dance Center and The Playground among others. 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. She has received awards and grants from 4Culture, Artist Trust, The Glenn H. Kawasaki Foundation, Seattle Magazine and Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch.
Artist Questionnaire for Double Exposure
How long have you been making your own work as a choreographer? How long have you been making work on the West Coast?
I have been choreographing dances since high school. I moved to Seattle in 2007 and have continued making choreography since.
What does it mean to you to be a ‘West Coast choreographer’, if anything?
Space, time, process
Who generally performs your work – yourself, your company, a pick-up company, other companies, etc.? How collaboratively do you work with your dancers?
I have a company that performs my work. I have two main collaborators that I work with— the rest of the dancers are freelancers I met along the way. My company is small and I tend to work with the same crew of people. It depends on the piece, but generally I work with between 5-7 dancers. I also have been commissioned to make work for companies, universities and institutions.
My process with my company is very collaborative. I direct and generate all of the physical material — all of the choices for transitions and in-betweens come from dialogues with the dancers. I trust my collaborators and their choices.
When I have a commission the process changes quite a bit. Generally I am working with dancers whom I’ve just met and don’t necessarily know what kind of choices we will make together. This is exciting and brings on a whole new level to the work.
Describe your aesthetic or choreographic style.
My movement vocabulary is very specific — clear initiations and a lot of physical negotiation. Visually, the work tends to be a bit minimal and stripped down. I like subtle humor and historical dance references right now. I like to think of it like my tumblr blog or on a good day, like a Sofia Coppola film.
Who would you describe as your most important influences in the dance field? How would you define your artistic lineage, if any?
I am very influenced by the lineage of Cage, Cunningham and Rauschenberg.
Where do you start with a commission like this – the relationship, an image, a piece of music, a movement phrase, etc.?
The concept (relationship, images, etc.) — then I begin conversations with my composer.
Have you ever previously created a work this short? How does the duration impact your decisions/process, if at all?
This is the shortest work I have made. I enjoyed the challenge.
Do you often create duets? How much are they a part of your larger body of work?
There usually are duets inside of my choreographies — not necessarily ones that touch. I like how two bodies interact with space.
How does the duet you’ve created for Double Exposure dialogue with your other work?
It’s definitely in conversation with the work I was making at that time.