After each of the four performances of SENSATION, audience members asked wide-ranging questions of dancers and choreographers and composer. A sampling of their varied responses.

Jim Kent (dancer)
In a general comment on how a Whim W’Him piece or a show is put together, Jim said:
“In order for the process to progress, a huge amount of listening and compromise needs to happen. No one can get precious about generated movement and the way in which it is executed—we all have our opinions and preferred aesthetics, but it takes great maturity to understand and accept the chosen intention, either by the collective or the choreographer.”

Justin Reiter (dancer)
An audience member wondered “how you guys can work together—everyone with different styles and places in their careers. How do you work to make such wonderful work together?” Justin (right) replied: “Olivier worked hard to bring together different individuals. Some companies work for sameness, Olivier for difference.”

Karl Watson (dancer)
When a question was asked about how, after learning a piece in the studio, working in the theater with lighting changes things for the dancers, especially in Catch and Release, the piece by Olivier Wevers, Karl answered, “I thought, Oh! that’s what we’re doing. It became completely different, what I felt in relation to Tory and the other dancers.”

Liane Aung (dancer)
On being queried about the dancers’ approach to Larry Keigwin‘s Line Dance and if the choreographer told them how to think about it, Liane replied, “The choreography kind of has an idea, then we have to take it over.”

Mia Monteabaro (dancer)
To a question about what sort of variation there is from night to night, Mia’s smiling answer was, “Every show is different—if you came to them all, you’d see.”

Patrick Kilbane (dancer)
One astute viewer was curious about whether there was any contact improvisation influence on the Patrick/Liane duet in Penny Saunders‘s play-by-play. As it turns out, it  developed from a segment of an earlier piece of Penny’s. “She sent us in to see Hubbard dance on the computer,” Patrick said and added, “Liane and I have been doing contact improv outside on our own, in fact.”

Tory Peil (dancer)
On the query about differences from show to show, Tory put in, “we’re encouraged to do something different, to explore. It’s a different journey each time.”

Penny Saunders (choreographer)
Asked about what it was like to come back to work with same group again, Penny remarked, “These dancers are individuals I know, though some are new. It’s a privilege that I got to build on it again. I already had the concept of piece, and could get to work first day because knew them. How wonderful to step into the studio and create a new world!”

Larry Keigwin (choreographer)
Away for the last weeks of prep for his piece, Larry had been represented by his stager, Brandon Cournay. Commenting on what it was like to come back and see his work brought to fruition, Larry said, “It was a complete pleasure to see what this work of mine became. There was drama, wit and humanity. It is so wonderful creating and being audience member—though when I hear people talking about my work, I prefer to be back stage.” And he concluded, “This group is very copacetic. They really vibe together. That’s unusual. ”

Olivier Wevers (choreographer and artistic director of Whim W’Him)
In answer to a question about how he picked the other two choreographers of the evening’s program, Olivier noted, “I constantly have a list of choreographers. Larry and I met at the New York Choreographic Institute, say 10 years ago and I’ve been wanting to work with him since. Penny? After Soir Bleu, that she did for us two years ago, I wanted her back. I’m always looking. I contact choreographers for availability and how what they’ll create will fit.” He smiled. “They come here and do whatever they want, though, so it’s a risk.” Summing up he said, “It’s availability, balance of program, and budget. And we’ll be announcing next year’s program April 6.”

Brian Lawlor (composer for Olivier’s Catch and Release)
Since Brian saw the show for the first time on the last night of the run, he was asked how was different from what he expected? His reply: “I get so wrapped up in the music and analytics. But when I see it in reality, that all gets sent to the trash can. It’s not about that!”

Photo Credit: All images but the last are by Bamberg Fine Art Photography