One of Seattle magazine’s 2013 Spotlight Award winners, dancer/choreographer Kate Wallich and her company, The YC, are swiftly rising stars in the contemporary dance scene. Known for creating intense, highly atmospheric works that shift from super slo-mo to fast-paced popping, Wallich builds visual worlds that resemble haute couture fashion spreads come alive. February brings the world premiere of her first evening-length piece, Super Eagle.
BD: When we spoke last summer, you said Super Eagle would be about “tragic love.” Is that still the case?
KW: At its core, Super Eagle is this tragic love opus. You see these relationships revealed and then destroyed, moments of tenderness and moments of deceit. It’s sad and heartbreaking, but put-together and pristine. To me, it’s like the kind of pain that hurts so good.
BD: This is your first full-length piece. Was it luxurious or daunting to have all that space to fill?
KW: Sustaining people’s attention for an hour is definitely daunting, but the time really allowed us to get to a place we haven’t been before, and the process made us refine and put only what is necessary inside the work.
BD: Did you and the other three dancers work collaboratively?
KW: Lavinia Vago, who also dances for Rubberband in Montreal, is the codirector of the work. We developed a lot of the imagery for the piece together a year ago at the Rauschenberg Residency [in Florida]. Andrew Bartee from Pacific Northwest Ballet is co-choreographing with me, and Matt Drews is collaborating as a dance artist. It’s been a very collaborative process with everyone, including our sound designer Lena Simon, fashion designer Pierre Davis and cinematographer Jacob Rosen.
BD: What does the title Super Eagle refer to?
KW: Super Eagle, to me, is like that person in your life who always pulls through. The person who, no matter what happens to them, always finds stability. They are rocks. For me, it’s someone like my mom—she was a huge inspiration for the piece.
BD: What is your favorite moment in the piece?
KW: There is this duet between Matt and Lavinia in the beginning. It slows your heartbeat down… I could watch it forever.
SEE SUPER EAGLE 2/13–2/16. $15–$20. Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave.; velocitydancecenter.org. In addition: On 2/9 at Velocity (7 p.m.; pay what you can), attend a prelude to the world premiere, which includes a screening of Wallich’s short art film, Super Eagle: The Overture and a conversation with The YC about their collaborative process.