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Whim W'him 3x3, Jan 18-19 and 25-26

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Whim W'him opened its 3x3 program last night at the Cornish Playhouse.    The choreographers are Yin Yue, Zoe Scofield, and Olivier Wevers.

I find it interesting in contemporary dance companies who perform the works of many choreographers how in each piece some dancers show a particular affinity to a choreographer's movement palate and sensibility, especially when there is a lot of parallel choreography.  Last night in Yin Yue's "The Most Elusive Hold," that was the stellar Liane Aung, but then at intermission, I realized that Aung has danced with Yue's company, so her ease and amplitude in the work is understandable.  Set to the kind of electronic atmospheric music that I love -- Emptyset, Shifted, Machinefabriek, and ending with Murcof and pianist Vanessa Wagner's haunting take on Satie's Gnossienne No. 3 -- for five dancers -- Aung, Jane Cracovaner, Adrian Hoffman, Jim Kent, and Karl Watson -- and was full of changing encounters and intersections among the dancers.

Zoe Scofield's "This mountain (announcing your place in the family of things.)" began slowly and gently with the full company, but it was fraught as the dancers blocked and interrupted each others' trajectories.  Nonetheless, the divide was between the group and what was out there, which happened to be us, the audience, but I didn't get the feeling it was personalized.  In Olivier Wevers' "Trail of Soles," also for the full company, the divide was onstage, with borders and walls represented by pairs and pairs of shoes, and was explicitly about the refugee crisis.  Thinking about it afterwards, the shifting borders were more descriptive of Europe, with even younger nations than North America's, and constantly shifting borders.  But in the moment, what I saw invoked was a virtual wall between the US and Mexico, which made me consider how even asylum seekers from Mexico and Central America are, at best, considered migrants, not refugees, even when they face similar conditions that cause people to flee their homes and lands elsewhere in the world.

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