FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2019
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WHIM W’HIM AND SEATTLE BAROQUE ORCHESTRA JOIN FORCES TO PRESENT PERGOLESI’S ENDURING MASTERPIECE STABAT MATER
Seattle, WA (February 4, 2019) Award-winning Seattle contemporary dance company Whim W’Him and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra join forces in February 2019 to present Pergolesi’s enduring masterpiece Stabat Mater, the ancient hymn portraying Mary during the Crucifixion. With music direction by Alexander Weimann and world-premiere choreography by Olivier Wevers, eight musicians, two singers and four of Whim W’Him’s dancers will be featured for just two performances. Inspiration overflows in this fusion of art forms.
On the music Weimann says, “Pergolesi’s lamenting is not a slow, solemn, ecclesiastical and constrained act, but something that happens naturally, breaks out of us in an almost uncontrolled manner, belonging rather to the world of stage, theater and opera, than the realm of the altar. Of course, mundane and sacred spheres were not really separated at this time, and still considered to be emanations of the same underlying cosmic order, but it feels we already hear that we are coming closer to the brink of enlightenment, the liberation of the individual and the freedom of expression.”
On the choreography Wevers says, “I certainly want to pay deep respect to the origins of the music and the story it is based on, but I also want to challenge it and find a way to bring its spirituality out without being literal. It is a fantastic and inspiring challenge. Just like the composition split in two sections, the first descriptive of the action and the second being more of a prayer and pleading, I am choosing some parts to be more narrative, and others to be more about the emotions and the feelings that we could each related to. The dancers can equally represent an emotion or a situation.”
PERGOLESI’S STABAT MATER
February 23 (7:30pm) and February 24 (2:30pm)
Shorecrest Performing Arts Center at Shorecrest High School
15343 25th Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155
Box office 206.325.7066
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
ALEX WEIMANN, MUSIC DIRECTOR
Alexander Weimann is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. After traveling the world with ensembles like Tragicomedia, Cantus Cölln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as Artistic Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, and as music director of Les Voix Baroques, Le Nouvel Opéra and Tempo Rubato. Recently, he has conducted the Montreal-based baroque orchestra Ensemble Arion, Les Violons du Roy, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra; both the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra have regularly featured him as a featured soloist. In the last years, he has repeatedly conducted the Victoria Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia, most recently with Handel’s “Messiah”.
OLIVIER WEVERS, CHOREOGRAPHER
Dedicated to creating works of artistic innovation and collaboration, Brussels- born Olivier founded Whim W’Him in 2009. Before establishing the company, he was a principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. His awards and recognition include the Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Fellowship, the City of Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, the grand prize award for an unprecedented two years in a row at the annual Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in California, and the ArtistTrust/ Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award. He participated in the National Choreographers Initiative and the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute. Olivier has created works for companies and festivals around the world, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, BalletX, Spectrum Dance Theater, Prix de Lausanne, White Bird’s 4×4 Ballet Project, and Dance the Dream Seattle.
Whim W’Him dancers Liane Aung, Jim Kent, Mia Monteabaro and Karl Watson are featured in Stabat Mater Dancer bios can be found at whimwhim.org/meet-our-dancers