When did you start dancing?
In the womb.
Why did you start dancing?
I will probably never know the answer to that. I just know why I keep doing it.
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
Rudolph, Pina, Kazuo Ohno, Gregory Hines, Erik Bruhn , Karen Kain, Evelyn Hart, Robert Tewsley, Lynn Seymour, Roberto Bolle, Shirley Maclaine, Ulyana Lopatkina, Margot Fonteyn, Anthony Dowell, Sylvie, Carla, Eva Evdokimova, Douglas Lee, Galina Mezentseva, Farukh Ruzimatov, William Forsythe, Dana Casperson, John Neumeier, Marcia, Wendy Whelan, Tina Turner, the cast of the Chorus Line movie, Mickey Mouse on that Steamboat…
Which dancer do you most admire?
I admire anyone who dances in this world.
What’s your favourite role?
Onegin, the Fool in Lady and the Fool, Lensky, Hamlet, Albrecht, Offertorium in MacMillan’s Requiem… I’ll give you more when I retire one day.
What role have you never played but would like to?
I like suffering in a role and for a role. I am not proud of that but it is what it is.
What’s your favourite ballet to watch?
Too many to count, but I dislike bad storytelling… I greatly value brilliant storytelling.
Who is your favourite choreographer?
It changes. I am easily biased by intelligent choreographers.
Who is your favourite writer?
I’m having another Phillip Roth phase… But I really like reading philosophy books and poetry. Usually on the same days.
Who is your favourite director?
My Grandmother was a theatre director.
Who is your favourite actor?
Christoph Walz, Javier Bardem, Laurence Olivier. I love Tilda Swinton and Glenn Close and really strong women with expert timing. I think it’s the dangerously sharp edges these actors have that prick me and make me bleed. Unfortunately, I identify with them.
Who is your favourite singer?
I never get tired of Billie Holiday.
What is your favourite book?
Balderdash is my favourite game so I am going to say… the dictionary!!! It’s always changing.
What is your favourite film?
I could never answer that.
Which is your favourite city?
What do you like most about yourself?
If I say honesty will that sound dishonest?
What do you dislike about yourself?
The things I can’t identify.
What was your proudest moment?
When I committed to someone I truly love.
When and where were you happiest?
Happiness is fleeting.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
What is your greatest fear?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My greatest fear.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
It’s hard to say until it’s all over isn’t it?
What is your most treasured possession?
Something that can constantly change with me.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Being a ballet dancer.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I’ve never thought about it.
On what occasion do you lie?
First Act Giselle…
If you hadn’t been a dancer what would you have liked to do?
What is your most marked characteristic?
What quality do you most value in a friend?
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Which living person do you most admire?
I’m a secret admirer.
What do you most dislike?
What gift would you most like to have?
I wish I could tell when people are flirting with me.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
In life it is an oxymoron but on-stage it can exist.
How would you like to die?
Isn’t life about trying to figure that out?
What is your motto?
Abramovic said: ”The artist should give and receive at the same time. ”
Evan McKie — a biography
He was born in Toronto, where he received his initial ballet training. In 1997 he began studying with the Kirov Academy in Washington D.C. and remained there for two years until an invitation from the legendary Pyotr Pestov enticed him to the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart in 2001. On leaving the school he worked his way up the ranks, eventually being appointed principal dancer after his début in the title role of Kevin O’Day’s abstract ballet Hamlet.
McKie has been fortunate to have worked with numerous choreographers on new pieces for the Stuttgart troupe, including several collaborations with Wayne McGregor, Marco Goecke and Christian Spuck. He has also worked with John Neumeier, Marcia Haydée and Glen Tetley. He is a guest dancer with several prestigious companies, including the Paris Opera Ballet, Universal Ballet, The Tokyo Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada.
In July 2012 Evan McKie received the Premio ApuliArte “Prix Grand Merit”, a prize awarded yearly by a panel of dance journalists for the season’s outstanding performances. The journalists cited McKie’s performances in Cranko’s Onegin with the Paris Opera, in Rudolph Nureyev’s The Sleeping Beauty with the National Ballet of Canada and in Cranko’s Swan Lake with the Stuttgart Ballet. He has also twice been listed in Dance Europe’s Critics’ Choice List for performances in Paquita and as Albrecht in Giselle.
Evan McKie has choreographed two successful works for the Noverre Society “Young Choreographer” evenings in Stuttgart.
Offstage, McKie works as a photographer specializing in abstract portraits and is also a guest writer and an honorary advisory board member for Dance Magazine, New York.
Photos: from the top, Albrecht, The Stuttgart Ballet; Paquita (photo by Patricio Melo)
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.