Skip to main content

Hogtown Stories is a series of portraits and short stories about Torontonians by Jeremy Korn, a photographer and urban planner. Find more photos of Evan and past stories at hogtownstories.com.

Evan McKie

There's a certain smell that's the same in every theatre. I instantly recognize it. Costumes, ballet shoes and instruments. That's the smell of home.

I was born in Toronto. When I was about eight years old, I saw my first ballet. The lead role was a male, which, as a kid, surprised me. He told a story with his body.

As a kid, I attended Canada's National Ballet School. Sometimes I was bullied for dancing back then, and for having a different way of thinking. I spoke my mind, and still do. When I was dancing, I was asked to be as honest as possible about everything. I liked that.

Evan McKie has been travelling the world for the past 15 years, making guest appearances at Bolshoi in Moscow, the Tokyo Ballet and the Opera Ballet in Paris. (Photo by Jeremy Korn)

I was lucky enough to perform in The Nutcracker back then. I was in the very back, but I took it really seriously and I completely idolized the dancers playing all the roles.

A few years later, I was scouted by the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany. Over the past 15 years, I was given many wonderful opportunities to refine my craft and travel the world. I performed as a guest at the Bolshoi in Moscow, the Tokyo Ballet and the Opera Ballet in Paris. These opportunities are always unexpected and I am reminded of the magic of theatre on each unique stage.

I returned to the National Ballet here in Toronto last year. My first dancing partner was one of the dancers that I used to look up to as a young student. She played the Sugar Plum Fairy when I was just a kid dancing in the back row. I can't believe she remembered me!

It’s cool to return to Toronto and experience The Nutcracker again. The Nutcracker is about taking a journey around the world together, and the magic of transformation. In the theatre this is a way of life.

Evan McKie is a principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.