ARTISTIC DIRECTOR  &  FOUNDER

OLIVIER WEVERS

he/him/his

From ballet training in his native Belgium, Olivier learned the beauty, passion and discipline of the art. On coming to North America at age 19, he discovered the exhilaration of many new dance forms. As a principal dancer, first with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and later, for most of his dancing career, with Pacific Northwest Ballet, he acquired his strong conviction that dancers are the heart and soul of a company. As such they, and artists in general, must live at the very center of the process, their dignity, psychological and creative growth and safety deemed just as essential as their technical accomplishments. 

During his years of performing in classical and contemporary works by choreographers from around the world, Olivier also discovered the thrill of making dances and how imaginative story-telling and movement exploration connect to caring about individuality and physicality. Creating dances fed his perennial curiosity. It became my way to express myself and, during the process, to be able to learn more about the human condition, start dialogues, touch people and share ideas, reflecting on our times and our humanity.”

While still dancing with PNB and developing his own choreographic approach, Olivier became convinced that only by starting his own company could he create the works he envisioned in an artist-centered sanctuary where kindness, empathy, and collaboration are built into the very DNA. The result is Whim WHim, with its yearly Choreographic Shindig for which the dancers choose the choreographers; emphasis on new works; transparent and candid leadership; ethical practices and equitable pay; commitment to diversity and social justice; and dedication to uncovering and nurturing new voices.

Awards

City of Seattles Mayors Arts Award, 2012
Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship Award, 2011
Annual Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival Grand prize Awards, 2010 & 2011
Dance Magazine 25 to watch, 2011
Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award, 2008

Collaborations

Ballet X, Philadelphia, PA
Cornish Dance Theater, Seattle, WA
Canadas Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Czech Republics Ballet of the National Theatre Brno
Grand Rapids Ballet, Grand Rapids, MI
National Choreographers Initiative, Irvine, CA
New York Choreographic Institute, New York, NY
Northwest Dance Project, Portland, OR
Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle, WA
Prix de Lausanne Gala, Tokyo, JAPAN
Seattle Dance Project, Seattle, WA
SFDanceworks, San Francisco, CA
Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle, WA
White Birds 4×4 Ballet Project, Portland, OR