IBT MasterClass Series
IBT Academy is excited to present the February 2019 MasterClass Series Weekend with the magnificent Evan McKie, Principal Dancer with the National Ballet of Canada.
Internationally acclaimed for his elegant, nuances performances and hailed as “a natural aristocrat of ballet” (Toronto Star), Evan has graced all of the world’s most important stages. The National Ballet of Canada's Artistic Director, Karen Kain, in a statement to The Toronto Star called him “one of the finest dancers of his generation.”
“Performing in the most exclusive companies in Paris, Russia and Tokyo, where they set the bar exceptionally high, is always an honour because you have to work to the highest standards and have something completely unique to say with your dancing to be worthy,” McKie says.
Numerous in-demand choreographers who have created roles on him include Wayne McGregor, Marco Goecke, Mauro Bigonzetti, Christian Spuck, Kevin O'Day, Demis Volpi, Louis Stiens and Douglas Lee. Mr. McKie has also worked with legendary dance-makers John Neumeier, William Forsythe, Hans Van Manen, Jiří Kylián and the late Glen Tetley. Evan has also commissioned works by Juliano Nunes, Douglas Lee, David Dawson and Andonis Foniadakis for performances at home in Canada and abroad. “Of all of today's international dance stars, McKie is one of the very brightest,” wrote Danse Magazine, Paris.
Evan continues to have very close ties with the Stuttgart Ballet, where he trained and rose through the company's ranks. After studying at Canada's National Ballet School, The Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Germany's John Cranko School, Evan was given his first professional job as a dancer by the Stuttgart Ballet's Artistic Director, Reid Anderson.
Just before becoming professional however, McKie suffered a severe knee-ligament injury and was told by doctors that he may never be able to be a ballet dancer. Though the ligament was irreparable at the time, McKie attempted to dance without it and began training with the late ballet legend Pyotr Pestov. McKie started performing and eventually took a place at the Stuttgart Ballet. At the time doctors called it a “miraculous recovery.” Promotions to soloist and highest rank of Principal Dancer followed and in 2011, McKie was invited to be a guest dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet. The Financial Times hailed Evan’s performance of John Cranko's Onegin “the sensation of the entire season.”
McKie received further critical acclaim when he was invited to be a guest at the Bolshoi Ballet in 2013, which led to further guest-engagements at the Paris Opera Ballet in both January and July 2014 in different roles. In Stuttgart, under the direction and mentorship of fellow Canadian Reid Anderson, McKie danced the major roles in Classical Ballet as well as being a part of over 30 contemporary collaborations and was also given opportunities to develop himself as a creative director during the world-famous Noverre Society workshops.
Over the last decade, he has been nominated as International Dancer of the Year by dance magazines in Tokyo, London, Paris, Berlin and New York for dance works ranging from classical to dramatic narrative to contemporary. Danse Magazine Paris wrote, "Evan McKie's limitless spirit and unusual storytelling abilities make him one of the brightest of all of today's most famous dance stars."
McKie has choreographed two dance works for Stuttgart's Noverre Society and a work for Olga Smirnova of the Bolshoi Ballet in cooperation with the Youth American Grand Prix at Lincoln Centre in New York.
He is a contributor and Advisory Board member for American Dance Magazine and has been a freelance contributor for Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, often writing preview pieces for upcoming productions.
Recommended reading: Evan’s article for Dance Magazine