Kate Franklin on first things

Kate Franklin where did you meet Kate Holden?

I met Kate Holden at either Breaking Ground or Toronto Dance Theatre’s Spring Workshop in 2001, I can’t remember which one.  I thought to myself “That girl has the most stunning, muscular arms!”

 

Kate Holden and Kate Franklin in North Bay in 2009.
Kate Holden and Kate Franklin in North Bay in 2009.

Why is your company called firstthingsfirst? 

Sometime around 2004, Kate Alton had the brilliant idea for us all to do a show together.  It was decided that Kate Holden and I would try our hand at producing it.  We sat down and started to brainstorm some ideas about what to call our fledgling company. Most of these ideas focused on our shared first name.  But it became clear that even more than a name, what we shared was a set of priorities.  We wanted very badly to create our own ideal dance situations that would challenge and inspire us.  We wanted to create a great working environment for ourselves and for the choreographers and collaborators of our choosing.  To me, “firstthingsfirst” means to set some wonderful, nearly impossible goals and then attain them, one step at a time. Our big dreams came true in 2007 with our first show, “Namesake”, and we have kept working together ever since. 

 

What style/technique was your first dance lesson? 

I took my first dance class at age 4 at Barbara Treleavan’s School of Dancing in North Bay, Ontario.  The technique was ballet. Jazz and tap were hot on its heels. 

 

What profession, other than dance artist, would you like to attempt and why?

I do have another profession other than dance artist.  I am a yoga teacher, working at the best studio in the world, Green Room Yoga in Vancouver’s Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood.  I am very interested in helping people understand and appreciate the ways in which their bodies can move. I would like to help as many people as possible discover that having a movement practice can greatly increase one’s overall happiness.  I think I will be working on this goal for the rest of my life.  

 

Other professions that interest me are ice cream taster and maker of funny videos.  Those are professions, right?

What do you like to eat before a show? What do you like to eat after the show?

It has taken me a long time to figure out the whole eating-before-the-show puzzle.  I wouldn’t even say I have it solved now after over a decade of dancing professionally.  I bring a lot of options with me to the theatre so that I can pick and choose exactly the right food, in the right quantity, in the moment.  After the show sometimes I am hungry, sometimes I am not.  Definitely on opening night an alcoholic beverage is in order!

 

What is with a trace about in five words or less?

In 5 words or less, “with a trace” is about crazy, amazing, beautiful souls working.  (If I do say so myself). 

 

What other DanceWorks Mainstage show will you attend this season?

I won’t be at any other DanceWorks Mainstage shows because I live in Vancouver now (though you might not believe it because I spent a good chunk of time in Ontario this past season).  If I were going to be in Toronto, I would definitely go see 605 Collective.  I haven’t seen much of their work, but have taken a bunch of their classes in Vancouver.  I think they have something special to share. 

 

This interview has been edited for content and length.

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First Things with Kate Holden

Kate Holden where did you meet Kate Franklin?

I first remember becoming aware of Kate, and I guess we met, the summer of 2001. It was either during a TDT spring intensive or “Breaking Ground” another great summer intensive that used to happen in TO. She had a shaved head and was awesome!

Molly Johnson, Joshua Van Tassel, Kate Holden and Kate Franklin at dance: made in Canada 2011
Molly Johnson, Joshua Van Tassel, Kate Holden and Kate Franklin at dance: made in Canada 2011

Why is your company called firstthingsfirst? 

We started the company to dance in the work that we wanted to dance in, to be able to prioritize for ourselves, to feel like we could make some artistic choices. We didn’t really know what we were doing in terms of producing a show but knew that we needed to start with the first thing and go from there. 

What style/technique was your first dance lesson? 

I would have been in some great community “movement” classes as a kid. My first real technique classes were Ballet and Creative Movement with Pia Bouman.

What profession, other than dance artist, would you like to attempt and why?

Osteopathy. I am fascinated by how the body functions. I now practice Cranial Sacral Therapy (which is related to Osteopathy) and I really enjoy the listening and movement that is involved. There is a satisfaction that I feel from working with another person’s body and trying to understand it – somewhat similar to working with a dance partner.

What do you like to eat before a show?

What do you like to eat after the show?

I eat fairly well in general. Before a show I prefer to eat a really balanced meal three hours before hand, with a good protein like chicken or fish, brown rice and leafy green vegetables. Afterwards, I’m likely to eat whatever is in front of me and am pretty happy with a plate of nachos.

What is with a trace about in five words or less?

It’s hard and difficult to encompass the nature of three separate works with one title or explanation. But maybe the best way I can say it, today, is it’s about the impact we have on the world around us and it on us.


What other DanceWorks Mainstage show will you attend this season?

I will likely see most of them as I really love to support the work of the community and visiting artists. I won’t see A Soldier’s Tale by Michael Greyeyes, or at least not from the audience perspective, because I’m performing in that work as well.

This interview has been edited for content and length.

A Day in the Life of Curator Mimi Beck

Mimi Beck plays many roles in the dance community.  She is a curator, an executive director, a mentor, a colleague and more.  Mimi’s days are filled with meetings with artists, staff, Board members, partners, funders, and members of the CanDance Network. She participates in sector-wide conference calls, sits on committees and juries, and advocates for dance in many capacities. She spends considerable time writing and editing grant applications so that both DanceWorks and the CanDance Network can keep functioning. She also sees a lot dance, in Toronto and across the country. Then five times a year, all her hard work comes to fruition on the Mainstage.

Here are a few photos of Mimi at work:

Photo by John Lauener, 2007
Photo by John Lauener, 2007
Opening night of "from thine eyes" 2011, Signal Theatre at the Enwave Theatre
Opening night of “from thine eyes” 2011, Signal Theatre at the Enwave Theatre
Mimi Beck and Yvon Soglo (Crazy Smooth), April 2012
Mimi Beck and Yvon Soglo (Crazy Smooth), April 2012

The Four Seasons of Kevin O’Day and Robert Glumbeck

The fourth Mainstage production for next season is Kevin O’Day and Robert Glumbeck’s new duet, The Four Seasons.  This work premiered in Manheim in Spring 2013 and will have its Toronto premiere at the Enwave Theatre. O’Day and Glumbeck collaborated in the past with Luches Huddleston Jr. on the highly successful international work Full Bloom.

Here is a taste of their collaborative work …

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Get Ready for Lemons, lots of lemons: 605 Collective

605 Collective, the second production in DanceWorks’ 2013-14 Mainstage Season, will perform Dana Gingras’ New Animal on November 15-16 at the Enwave Theatre. This piece features ferocious choreography, incredible athleticism, and lemons.  (Many lemons will be harmed in the production of New Animal.)

Here is a little taste …

http://player.vimeo.com/video/35694486?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&autoplay=1