I am always grateful to welcome you back to the Cornish Playhouse and thrilled to share with you the culmination of months of creation and collaboration with extraordinary artists. I am awed by these artists who continue to demonstrate that creativity and imagination triumph over adversity, as proven by their swift and skillful response to an unexpected delay of our opening.
Last week while in tech rehearsals Nell suffered from appendicitis. After taking her to the emergency room she was transferred to another hospital for surgery. We miss her!—but the good news is that she is already healing, walking around, and eager to join us for our next production.
In the meantime, Kyle Sangil, our newest dancer who was scheduled to join us in June for our next season, joined us last Friday. I am so grateful to introduce Kyle to Seattle earlier than planned, and welcome another exceptional mover and artist into our community.
While we celebrate the arrival of our newest members, we also say a sad but incredibly grateful farewell to Liane Aung, who has been pivotal to Whim W’Him’s community and creativity for the last six years. We send her off with all our love and best wishes as she continues on to new futures and possibilities.
Closing our 12th season, I find myself reflecting on our past and our future. We’ve come so far yet still have so much more work to do to fulfill our mission with integrity and excellence. Over the past 12 years we have generated over 77 new creations by 39 individual choreographers: 12 members from racialized communities, 16 women, and 18 members of the LBTQ+ community. As our current strategic plan work continues to solidify our active commitment to anti-racism and upholding inclusive and just practices, we strongly believe that dance and movement can be important tools for social change.
During the past two years the company has also presented more than a dozen free outdoor pop-up performances in parks and other outdoor spaces, making professional contemporary dance more accessible to the wider Seattle community. These engagement efforts serve to enrich the imaginations of fellow artists while providing an entry point for curious thinkers, whether through their patronage or participation.
Whim W’Him strives to be a leader in the world’s arts ecosystem by centering and nurturing artists, abolishing the inequities and injustices that are perpetuated in the dance field, and fostering the social changes we want to see in the world.
I hope you’ll delight in tonight’s performance, and that it will inspire you and encourage you to continue whimming with us. We are the consequence of your generosity and commitment to the arts in Seattle.
Thank you for choosing to be with us tonight,
Olivier Wevers, Founder and Artistic Director