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Helene

Whim W'him: Choreographic Shindig III

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For the last three years, Whim W'him's dancers have viewed close to or over 100 submissions from choreographers from which they choose three:  those three are commissioned to create a new work with the Company, and Olivier Wevers, in his opening speech, said that they each spent 55 hours with the dancers.  Also in his welcome speech, Wevers announced that the dancers selected the choreographers for next year's Choreographic Shindig IV.

 

The opening work was Bruno Roque's "The Background Hum of Stimuli" to two-part score:  spoken directions from a voice like the Google Map's woman's voice and then a jazz instrumental (by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers).  Since much of the work was in unison -- break out solos happened later in the work -- it was a great chance to watch new dancers Cameron Birts and Adrian Hoffman for the first time in the context of the company.  Birts is short with elegant fluidity.  Hoffman is the biggest and tallest man in the company, but it isn't surprising to read in his bio that he was an accomplished martial artist from seeing his strong, dynamic movement which isn't always that common among tall men. 

 

Among all of the dancers, the choreography was most compelling on Mia Monteabaro, for whom it looked tailor-made.

 

The second work, Adam Barruch's "Summoning" was simply gorgeous.  It was episodically programmatic, ritualistic, and tribal in a strong, but often subtle ways.  I wish I had ignored the message that no filming was allowed and bootlegged a video of this to show the Flamenco community in Vancouver -- there are some wonderful artists doing hybrid/cross-over work with Flamenco there -- because the arms and hand movements were so evocative.

 

This isn't to diminish his gifts as a solo dancer, but it's as if Karl Watson's dancing flourishes especially when he is connecting (or not) specifically with his fellow dancers.  He and Liane Aung are a great match physically and in their complementary movement quality.

 

The last work, "Limitation Etudes: 7-10" by Banning Bouldin in collaboration with the Whim W'him dancers.  The dancers were in white , and they used long, thinnish white bandages to convey limitation and restriction in some familiar and other surprising ways.   It felt to me very much like an exploration, and I'd advise watching it before reading the program notes.

 

It's playing at the Erickson Theatre on Capitol Hill, which is a small, intimate, wingless space.  There are some standby tickets for tonight, and it's also playing tomorrow tonight -- all shows are at 8pm.  It's also plays next week Wednesday-Saturday, September 13-16.

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What she said -- it's a solid program with some outstanding dancers.

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