Dates have been set for the first official Whim W’Him auditions*
In New York City—August 13, 2013
In Seattle—August 28, 2013
Whim W’Him is seeking experienced dancers:
•Strong classical training
•Committed to the creative process
•Partnering skills encouraged
•Works well with others
•At least 18 years old
•Able to work legally in the USA
For project-based contract in Seattle, WA:
•8-15 weeks, paid contractor positions, Oct 2013-Jan 2014 + March-May 2014
•Performances at the Playhouse at Seattle Center, Jan 17-19 + May 16-18, 2014
•Potential tour dates
Because my original blog post on auditioning was gobbled up by technology in a server switchover, I’ll recapitulate a part of it here:
Up to this point in its brief history, Whim W’Him casting has flowed quite naturally from the confluence of artistic director Olivier Wevers’ knowledge of the Seattle dance scene, the pieces envisaged for a given show, and dancer availability. Those elements will of course still continue to mold the process. But now, with the passage of time and the evolution of dancers’ lives, several of the basic founding members are mostly not available. While wonderful new dancers have turned up and shown what they can do, more will be wanted as time goes on. How can Whim W’Him go about tapping the pool of talent out there to nurture the company’s future? What sort of auditioning process will allow Olivier and other choreographers who work with the company to discover exciting new dancers?
Choosing Whimmers is a complex and subtle process, as it is for any dance company that has its particular philosophy, style(s) and requirements. What are Whim W’Him’s?
•Whim W’Him demands a great deal physically of its dancers, and the type of dance calls for not only top-notch classical and/or modern dance training, but an ability to move in novel ways and a willingness to experiment.
•Personality and character are as important in their sphere as dance skill, flexibility and strength. There needs to be a thirst to learn, to stretch yourself, to try things outside of usual comfort zones, and an eagerness about working in partnership with other artists. This implies certain other characteristics such as inventiveness, good humor, readiness to work hard, an ability to take responsibility for yourself, a taste for artistic risk taking.
With so many qualities required in Whim W’Him dancers, what kind of audition process might uncover these rather complex and subtle traits? In the spirit of collaboration on which Whim W’Him is founded, Olivier has been talking not just to the board (about salaries and number of weeks employment), but to the current dancers who are starting to form the core of a permanent company. What do Olivier and dancers like Tory Peil, Mia Monteabaro, Lara Seefeldt and Andrew Bartee think about the audition process? Here are a few of their ideas:
-The choosing process should be collective (observed/conducted/or participated in) by current company dancers and Olivier…
-The form of the auditions needs to be unique to Whim W’Him…
-The process has to show what kind of movers the auditioning dancers are…
-It must point up their personalities too…
-An audition will be more like a workshop rather than a class or a barre…
-Those trying out might be asked to consider what the idea of Whim W’Him is…
-Every little question asked or task set must be with something in mind…
-Somehow it needs to be determined out who is ready to commit!
The process is still in progress, but will be fundamentally shaped by the co-operative nature of the Whim W’Him venture.
All that is from Whim W’Him’s point of view, but what special qualities can a dancer hope to find there?
The sense of the company as a collective with a warm environment and the engagement of everyone in it to work toward the good of the whole, rather than just concentrating on oneself.
Recognition and understanding of strengths and weak spots in both yourself and your co-dancers and dedication to working with/around/through them.
*INTERESTED IN AUDITIONING?
For particulars, contact:
•No phone calls
•Dancers will be contacted by email with a response
•Current resume (include height)
•2 full body dance shots
•Online link of video dancing contemporary work, if available
(at least 1 improvisation and 2 performance pieces)
No warm up offered before the audition | Wear socks