Embrace Adventure with Katie Ewald & Lynette Segal: Spotlight on our Local Dance Artists

In the weeks leading up to Guelph Dance Festival 2014, some of the Festival artists will share their vision with us here on the blog. These intimate, behind-the-scenes looks will bring us closer to the artistry, process, and experience of dance. We encourage you to not just read these amazing stories, but to ask questions and engage in conversation about dance in our comments section below. Embrace adventure with us in 2014!

Katie Ewald and Lynette Segal both share some of their story here. Both of them perform at Local Initiatives on Friday May 30 from 4-6pm, at Boarding House Arts, 6 Dublin Street South. Suggested donation $15, or pay-what-you-can. Wine and tasters provided by OX, beer provided by Wellington Brewery.

Lynette: The time I’ve carved aside to play with Steph Yates has become such a valuable, enriching part of my days. As a musical and visual artist, Steph has courageously stepped outside of her comfort zone, and literally stretched herself in ways she hasn’t in many, many years. In the studio together, we’ve created movement sequences, both of us offering ideas we then play with; flip, reverse, slow down, speed-up, etc. She sees patterns, textures, and sound qualities that open up new dimensions to our explorations. When I’ve come with a sound concept, she inventively finds ways to create it. Steph is a sensitive, gifted and open-minded multi-disciplinary artist. This extremely positive creative process has provided a refreshing exposure to the collaborative dialogue between artists working in diverse fields. Now, back to work!

Photo of Lynette Segal and Steph Yates by Isabel Segal-Grossman. Artwork by Michaela Cruz.

Katie: Guelph. My groovy new home full of artist moms.

As an artist I have been lucky enough to live, go to school, and work in Europe; tour with Danielle Leveille Danse to festivals all over the world; establish my place in experimental dance company Public Recordings as a long time and much appreciated collaborator; and work with the lauded English theatre company Forced Entertainment early in my career.

I moved to Guelph because of pure gut feeling. I hadn’t really ever been here except to one day of Hillside in 2007 to watch my husband-to-be play music. I had heard a lot about the city from him, who spent his formative days in a rock band here. In 2010, pregnant and nauseous, I heard myself saying, “Let’s go to Guelph! There is an amazing music scene there and a DANCE FESTIVAL!”. It became a mantra of sorts in the days leading up to the big move from our life in Montreal. We came here, and 5 months later had a kid.

When I met Janet Johnson and Catrina von Radecki, I was so happy! They are sensitive, wise, curious, courageous dancer moms.  I am really inspired by them both and was immediately brought into the fold. My gut feeling was validated.  

Photo of Katie Ewald by Jacklyn Barber.
Katie: I am pleased to share this Local Initiatives show with Lynette Segal, another inspiring Guelph dancer mom, and the talented musician Steph Yates. The whole building will open its doors and the Arts Incubator studios will feature work by visual artist Adrienne Spier (yet another amazing artist mom!) in collaboration with Robert Kingsbury, a usual suspect in Guelph’s dance scene. Along side all of this, Capacity 3 Gallery, with the Festival of Moving Media, will be presenting a film by Tim Wilson.  This collaboration and cross-disciplinary mingling was exactly what I had hoped for our event.

When Catrina first mentioned the possibility of choosing the space I perform in for the Festival, I immediately thought of the Boarding House building. 
Disappearing Geography requires a strong architectural presence and this particular building has history and character. This piece is both an ode to the architecture that is present in the room and my negotiation of performing solo. Musagetes has very graciously given me permission to perform in their office space. It has that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that the most evocative spaces have. The second I walked into that room I wanted to do my dance there. I am very grateful for the support of Musagetes, and Danica Evering in particular, for taking a risk by showing this project in the place where they work.

Photo of Katie Ewald by Jacklyn Barber.

Katie: It makes me happy that we are engaging the whole Boarding House building with Local Initiatives, and that people will be investigating all kinds of spaces there. Architecture, its role and presence in our lives, has captivated me for a long time. I feel spaces and notice things. I like to just notice, and see if that noticing changes anything. I will be performing Disappearing Geography for the first time as a durational piece. It will be performed from 4pm-6pm, with Musagetes doors closing at 4:45, so you can move over to the Boarding House Gallery and see Echo. The doors will re-open after Lynette’s piece, and I will continue until 6pm.

It will be an intimate experience, as the number of people who can be in the Musagetes room will be limited. But I invite you to come, leave, come back. Have a glass of wine. Repeat.

Lynette Segal studied at Concordia and York Universities, Les Ateliers de Dance Moderne de Montreal, and The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. Lynette has worked with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Dancer’s Studio West, One Yellow Rabbit, 502 Dance Lab, and Portal Dance Projects. In addition to independent solo work, she has been honoured by opportunities to work with Matt Brubeck, Barb Bryce, Ben Grossman, Susanna Hood, Karen Kaeja, Janet Johnson, Robert Kingsbury, Shannon Kingsbury, Susan Lee, Lisa Nelson, Sara Porter, Oliver Schroer, Georgia Simms, Sue Smith, Kelly Steadman, Rebecca Todd, Catrina Von Radecki, and Miranda Tufnell. She co-founded Fall on Your Feet, a movement collective which focuses on teaching and performing movement improvisation. Lynette has taught improvisation to children, youth, and adults and continues to be a busy Massage Therapist for nearly twenty years. lynettesegal.com

Steph Yates studied ballet in Hamilton under Catherine Samuel, who ruled over the class with a kind hand and wore her hair in a beehive updo. After dancing for two years, Yates abandoned her practice at the resolute age of 8. Now living in Guelph, a good deal more grown-up, she writes and plays music in several bands, one being Esther Grey, and carries on a visual art practice centred on print, mixed media, and stop-motion animation. Yates’ current artistic interests are pattern, imperfection, movement, shadow, and crossing boundaries. littleroomlabs.ca

Katie Ewald is a dance artist based in Guelph, Ontario. She received her BFA from Concordia University and studied at P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels. She has collaborated with choreographers Ame Henderson/Public Recordings, Martin Bélanger/LAPS, k.g. Guttman, Lin Snelling, Chanti Wadge, Janet Johnson/Portal Dance Projects, and worked with Daniel Léveillé Danse from 2005-2008. She performed with the experimental theatre company Forced Entertainment in The Voices from 2003-2005. In 2000, she was the only dancer nominated for The Canada Council for the Arts Fund for Future Generations Millennium Prize. She has taught dance workshops across Canada and is currently collaborating on a new duet with Toronto dance artist Mairead Filgate.

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