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.

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 …