Kate Wallich | Creative City


choreographer, director

Kate Wallich

From the moment you set foot in Seattle, you can feel it: art is everywhere.

The thriving arts scene is a priority in this city—in fact, Seattle has been recognized for having more arts-related businesses and organizations per capita than any other metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts. Choreographer and director Kate Wallich is one of the contributors to this creative city. Read on for a look at the city through her artistic lens.

Q&A with Kate Wallich

If Seattle were a dance piece, what would it feel like?

It would be meditative, organic, pretty progressive—and process oriented! Seattle choreographers love taking all the time it needs (even years) to make a piece great. There might be a seven-hour rehearsal, and one hour is spent lying around on the floor together. That’s why the art made here is so good.

Where do you like to perform in Seattle?

Historically I’ve made work for the stage, but lately I’ve been more interested in using the Pacific Northwest setting and the environment of the city. I want dance to be accessible to the public. I’ve staged pieces on tennis courts, on a rooftop in Belltown, at the Olympic Sculpture Park. Recently I did a piece on a floating sauna and a speedboat in Lake Union—people rode up in the electric boats you can rent on Westlake, and took breaks for tacos at Agua Verde. It was vessel choreography.

Where should visitors go to see dance?

If you’re looking for challenging work—maybe even freaky territory—definitely try On the Boards. For contemporary dance and beautiful movement that isn’t ballet, Velocity Dance Center. For European flair, check out Whim W’him. And I love Pacific Northwest Ballet—it’s one of the best in the country. [Director] Peter Boal presents such strong work, and it’s not your typical story ballets. He is really pushing the repertory further.

Any favorite places to go dancing?

Dance Church is the dance party/workout I lead every Tuesday night and Sunday morning at Velocity. People of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds show up. It’s really fun, and helps me ensure I can pay my dancers when we have a show. For a night out on Capitol Hill, I’d recommend Q nightclub for house music, and Havana for the ‘90s night, soul night and really good drinks.

Where else can people get a good sense of Seattle?

I love the Henry Art Gallery because it’s so contemporary and interdisciplinary. The Frye Art Museum’s gift shop is really well curated, with lots of locally made art and jewelry. Rachel’s Ginger Beer. And Bar Melusine for Washington state oysters. Last time I went I found a pearl!

If you could stage a dance piece anywhere in Seattle, where would it be?

On a ferry. Definitely. I’ve already started visualizing it.


Interview by Brangien Davis. 

Photo taken on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island Ferry, Elliott Bay.


View this trailer of Kate Wallich’s Super Eagle, performed at Seattle’s Velocity Dance Center.



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