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Whim W'him: Shindig

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When Olivier Wevers founded W'him Whim, he mentioned two goals among many: to have a full-time roster of dancers and to present programs of other choreographers. He was still dancing with PNB and his own career as a choreographer was still young. the economic crisis was still strongly felt in Seattle. Didn't he know how unlikely this was under the best of circumstances?

I think most of us thought he was crazy.

We were wrong.

Last season, he had his full-time roster of dancers. This season, with Shindig, from September 11-13 and 16-19 at the intimate Erickson Theatre on Capitol Hill, Whim W'him will present its first program with outside choreographers, requested by the dancers in an annual collective discussion: Joshua Peugh, Maurya Kerr, and Ihsan Rustem.

I was privileged to be able to see an early rehearsal of Rustem's new work. Dancers and choreographers are incredibly generous to let people see them as they are working things out. The movement vocabulary challenges this fine group of dancers, and even at this early stage, it was clear this was a work well worth the price of the ticket even if it was the only work on the program. Watching Rustem demonstrate was bittersweet, as I never got to see his Europe-based dancing career.

Wevers will present a new work in November as part of Seattle Symphony's Music of Remembrance Series on November 8 at the Nordstrom Recital Hall, and Grand Rapids Ballet will perform his "A Midsummer Night's Dream" October 8-10 at the Cornish Playhouse.

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Because I'm a tidy girl, just want to say that Whim W'him has presented several other choreographers since they started in 2009, but this is the first time that the actual programming decisions are made by the dancers themselves -- it's fascinating to see why they wanted to work with these particular dancemakers.

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Did they do a program where there wasn't at least one Wevers piece on it before?

My first response is that he's always had something on the program, but I'd have to go back and doublecheck to see if that's really so.

(just went through my files, because I've got other stuff I should be doing, and I can't find a listing for a show that didn't have something of Wevers' on it)

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