Downtown residents looking to see their friend Kate dance in the upcoming DanceWorks production titled Namesake:three will have to be more specific.
There are three Kates from the Downtown core in the show: west ender, performer and choreographer Kate Alton and St. Lawrence residents, co-artistic directors and performers Kate Holden and Kate Franklin make up the cast of what Franklin calls “extremely physical.”
“All of the works are really demanding physically and the sheer fact of it being so demanding is going to be impressive to people,” Franklin notes. “I hope that the audience gets a real visceral reaction from us giving our all for a solid hour.”
Originally from North Bay, 29-year-old Franklin has lived with her boyfriend in the St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood for three years. Before that, she tried out Leslieville and the Danforth.
The central location allows her to cycle to work at the Enwave Theatre at 231 Queen’s Quay West. Cycling, combined with the high-energy choreography, keeps her hungry. “For breakfast I have almond butter on toast, then two small lunches with lots of protein. My partner Ryan is an amazing cook so for dinner I just eat whatever he puts in front of me.”
In the weeks leading up to the performance, Franklin is wholly focused. “We’re in the studio about five hours today. The pieces are really coming together.”
She continues, “The Kates I work with are absolutely fabulous dancers. This is our second production of this nature after Kate Alton suggested we work together.”
The three Kates met when they took open contemporary dance classes together. The teacher would say, “Good work, Kate,” or “give corrections to Kate.”
“Kate Alton brought us together with this idea. She is like a mentor to us—two of us are closer in age and she is older than us. She’s had a long career.”
Part of Alton’s concept was that the dancers would choose to work with the choreographers that interested them—a reversal from the usual way of things in the dance community.
The program of Namesake:three (which is being produced by Franklin and Holden’s company firstthingsfirst) consists of two duets and one trio. Alton choreographed one of the duets for the younger dancers, while newly-appointed Ballet British Columbia artistic director Emily Molnar choreographed the other.
The trio was choreographed by Marc Boivin from Montreal. “He’s an amazing man who’s been around the dance scene forever,” Franklin gushes. “He’s much in demand as a teacher. Choreography is a bit new to him but we’re happy to give him a chance to explore his choreographic talent.”
Namesake:three runs Sept. 23 to 25 nightly at 8 p.m. with a 12:30 p.m. matinee on Sept. 24. Tickets are $18 to $28 and are available by calling (416) 973-4000. For more information visit danceworks.ca.