Whim W’Him is humming behind the scenes. 


The spring’s most publicly visible innovation is the launch of this new website. Artistic director Olivier Wevers, and web designer Mariano Lozano put in untold hours (Mariano’s all volunteer) getting the everything from the overall concept to the pickiest little details right. Board member Ritsu Itoi also contributed “a huge amount, as a kind of the manager of the entire project, helping to coordinate all the communications and testing” in Olivier’s words.

A massive and ongoing undertaking, the new website’s principle aims are clean, simple design to reflect the company aesthetic; ease of use by readers; and flexibility—that is, a capacity for ready adaptability to rapidly evolving artistic needs and technological possibilities.


On the money front, there’s also been good news. Our first Spring Fling fundraiser held at The Escala on April 12 brought in more than twice its goal. And just after that, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Whim W’Him a $10,000 grant for the first time: “To support the creation and presentation of the

[Fall 2017] Choreographic Shindig. This four-week residency program and production, in its second year, will culminate in the creation of up to three new contemporary dance works from choreographers selected by the Whim W’Him dancers. Emerging choreographic talent will be supported, company dancers will benefit from enhanced collaboration through their involvement in the curation process, and Whim W’him’s audiences will be exposed to diverse artists from around the world.”


A couple of days ago, as well, Whim W’Him photographers Molly Magee and Kim and Adam Bamberg did a photo shoot at Olivier’s with the dancers and a colorful array of smoke grenades. The day had just the right combination of brilliant sun and a slight breeze. Wonderful and mysterious images emerged that will be used in upcoming promotional material.


And last, though it really should be first and foremost, front and center, Whim W’Him is in rehearsal for its June program: three new pieces by three choreographers.  

(For tickets: Whim W’Him presents OUT-spoken at the Cornish Playhouse – Jun 3-11, 2016, 8:00 pm)

Earlier this spring Olivier created his strange and riveting ballet, A Disagreeable Tale of Duplicity, on the company and will be honing it with the dancers between now and the show.


Then, last week and the one before, James Gregg joined the dancers to make his first work for Whim W’Him. He will return to Seattle for more rehearsals before the opening. (Look for more about James and his work here in future posts.)


And as I write this, Whim favorite Annabelle Lopez Ochoa is working in the studio on her latest piece, a concoction at once fanciful and sinister, about which, for the moment, I’ll only say that it involves the dancers sporting red-tinted glasses, to baleful effect. More next week.


As you can see, there’s never just business as usual around Whim W’Him. Says dancer Jim Kent: “I love that this company is so rigorous and spends so many hours in rehearsal. We are creating, problem solving, connecting, excavating, delving into the essence of movement in order to fulfill a concept or a vision. I love Olivier’s movement­­—it is challenging, fun, beautiful and is all about the virtuosity of connection with each other. AND: these people are fun. There is no shortage of laughter.”