“Anytime you buy a ticket to a performance, it’s kind of a crap shoot, right?” Marcie Sillman asks on her blog, And another thing… “You never really know what will happen, whether or not you’ll like the show, even if that show is something you see every year, like Nutcracker. That’s the joy of live performing arts. It’s an even bigger gamble when, say, you decide to see new works by three choreographers you’ve never heard of. That was the case this past weekend at Whim W’Him’s Choreographic Shindig.“
Writes Alice Kaderlan, for her online blog, Feet First in The Seattle P.I.: “One mark of a first-rate artist is the capacity to constantly change and grow, to push boundaries and limits. In this latest outing from Whim W’Him, artistic director Olivier Wevers demonstrates that he can do this even when he’s not choreographing. For this latest program Wevers has stepped back from creating dance works. Instead, he’s moved into the role of mentoring his seven dancers as curators, allowing them to select the three choreographers whose ballets they’re performing in what Wevers calls this Choreographic Shindig.”
Since the first weekend’s performances, I keep hearing about the Shindig—from dancers, audience members and critics: How distinct each of the company’s seven dancers is and how unlike the three current pieces. I never tire of watching the Whim W’Him dancers do series of movements in unison. You would never make a uniform classical corps de ballet out of this crew—they’re all dancer thin, but beyond that there’s a wide range of body types, training, movement styles and personalities. Yet somehow they click and make a convincing, often quite surprising ensemble. It’s variation within unity, harmony in difference.
Not surprising then, that such a diverse group of dancers would come together to choose choreographers so different in sensibility as Joshua Peugh, Maurya Kerr, and Ihsan Rustem. Truly something for everyone.
A case in point is the use by each choreographer, and to highly varied effect, of Tory Peil and Kyle Matthew Johnson in a key duet…
… from tentative young love through anguished confusion to complex understanding.
The opening work on the program, Short Acts on the Heartstrings