Q&A with Katie Ewald

Katie Ewald, dancer, Pilates instructor, movement specialist, and Guelph local, will be curating and presenting short&sweet, a show that gathers 15 dance artists from across the country to perform 3-minute pieces, based on the model created by Sasha Klienplatz and Andrew Tay. Following the presentation of short&sweet, artists and participants will partake in an online dance party! We spoke to Katie about the project: 

GD: What are you most excited about telling the audience about your work?

KE: Hi there. I am Katie Ewald. I am a dancer, dance-maker and once-in-a-while curator.  This will be my 6th time curating short&sweet – having had the honour of producing four with Kazoo! Fest here in Guelph and one in Sackville for Sappyfest. The people of Guelph love short&sweet. They line up early to see it and cross the street to tell me how much they loved it. In July 2020, the Love-In (Toronto) hosted an online live version of s&s and it was delightful. It felt like I was actually WITH people, which is a hard thing to conjure up these days. It was my favourite online dance event of the year, and it inspired me to come out of s&s retirement and co-produce another installment. I have always tried to develop good communication and dialogue with each artist involved in this wild ride of a show, and this year was no exception. I have had such thoughtful, emotional and deep conversations. I hope that the public “feels the same feels” from this year’s event as they have in the past, and that we grow as a community together, with a richer understanding of artists and their contributions, and wider representation of people and dances.  

Photo by Marnie Dallan

GD: Were there any surprising benefits to the process of bringing your work online?

KE: 2020 asked us to look deeper into ourselves and how we contribute to the oppression of others. I hope that my efforts in curation – which include continued support of former local s&s participants, as well as casting a larger and more interesting net in my search for dear weirdos, can make this s&s unusual and thought-provoking.  I think that is a benefit of the larger context which brings us online. 

GD: What do you hope the audience will take away from your work?

KE: I hope that the audience becomes more interested in choreography as a practice that is not always connected to what the mainstream has told us technique is. I hope that the audience becomes interested in particular artists, and follows them and their trajectory, or becomes interested in their past.  I hope the audience can understand that sharing in this way is risky and that failure is a part of an artist’s journey – a fundamental part.  I hope that audiences start to understand that dance is many things to many people. Sometimes it doesn’t look how you want it to. But ask yourself if you feel something and if that might be a sign that it’s acting on you in the way it was designed to. 

I can’t wait for you to see the amazing artists who have agreed to participate this year. It’s a truly stellar collection of people, and I am honoured they have agreed to share with us.  See you then!

Join us for short&sweet on Saturday, June 5th at 9:30PM!

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