spring ’24


May 10-18, 2024

May 15, 2024


Gustavo Ramírez Sansano


Together with Verónica García, Gustavo founded Titoyaya Dansa in 2006. He trained at the Josetta García school and the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona and is a performer at Ballet Víctor Ullate, Nederlands Dance Theater 2, and Hubbard Street Dance Company Chicago. He began to choreograph at the Institut del Teatre, standing out as the winner of the Ricard Moragas Award. He then went on to win the Prix Dom Perignon, Ettoile de Ballet 2000, Maspalomas, TGV Performing Arts Awards, Dance Magazine 25 to watch, and Chicagoans of the Year in the Art / Dance category.

His pieces are presented at festivals and fairs such as Jacob’s Pillow and APAP New York and at schools such as the Juilliard School of Arts, Butler University, and Daf Dance Arts Faculty. In the last 20 years, he has made more than 60 creations for companies around the world: Ballet Hispánico, Ballet BC, Hubbard Street Dance, Luna Negra, Luzerner Theater, Compañía Nacional de Danza, and Nederlands Dans Theater, among others. Between 2009 and 2012 he directed the Chicago-based company Luna Negra Dance Theater.


Ihsan Rustem

Choreographer Ihsan Rustem was born in London, where he trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

Ihsan is Artistic Director of the Swiss dance company Cie. La Ronde,  founded in 2020 with choreographer Cathy Marston, and the Resident Choreographer for the NW Dance Project in Portland, Oregon USA, where he has created twelve works to date.  

Further collaborations include the Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Sao Paulo City Ballet, National Ballet of Chile, Ballet Moscow, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 2, Istanbul State Ballet MDT, Tanz Luzerner Theater, Bern Ballet, Konzert Theater St Gallen, Whim W’Him Seattle, Ballet Edmonton Canada, Junior Ballet Antwerp, Ballare Carmel, Ballett Augsburg, Thüringer Staatsballett, Staatstheater Braunschweig, Tanztheater, Kazan State Opera and Ballet, Koblenz Ballet, Ballet Regensburg, Würzburg Ballet, Siberian State Ballet, Salt Contemporary Dance USA, Repertory Dance Theater Utah, Staatstheater Cottbus, Arts Umbrella Dance Company Vancouver, Moving Arts Cincinnati, National Youth Dance Company, Palucca Hochschule Dresden, Codarts, ZHdK, Tanzwerk101, Taipei National University of the Arts and the Rambert School. He was a featured choreographer for Russia’s popular TV show ‘The Bolshoi Ballet’. 

Nederlands Dans Theater named Ihsan as one of their Up & Coming Choreographers for the 2018/19 season. 

His work for the NW Dance Project has been recognized with numerous accolades. State of Matter won the 2012 Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest as well as the Public Prize at the 25th International Competition for Choreographers Hannover, and Carmen received Dance Magazine’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Award for Best Collaboration. Rustem was also the 2014 recipient of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s International Commissioning Project.

Rustem is the former Director of the Ballettschule Luzern and in 2021 he joined the jury of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne. He has been a jury member for Concorso Internazionale di Danza Città di Rieti and in 2023 will join the jury of the Dance World Cup in Braga Portugal.

From 2000-2014 Ihsan Rustem was a dancer with the Ballet Theater Munich, Introdans, State Theater Bern Ballet, Tanz Luzerner Theater and Adventures in Motion Pictures. He originated roles in creations by Wayne McGregor, Hofesh Shechter, Alexander Ekman, Matthew Bourne, Stijn Celis, Patrick Delcroix, Cayetano Soto, Felix Landerer, Cathy Marston and worked with choreographers Mats Ek, Jiri Kylián, Paul Lightfoot / Sol Leon, Hans van Manen and William Forsythe, amongst others.

He is the former Artistic Director of the Dance Art Studio Ballettschule Luzern.


Olivier Wevers


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.”


michael mazzola


Michael’s critically acclaimed lighting and scenery has been seen in venues all over the USA, Europe, and Asia, ranging from opera houses to amphitheaters to circus tents to hay barns. The 3-time New York Dance and Performance Award winner has designed lighting and scenery for many dance companies, in the USA, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Cuba. He designed lighting and video for the 2015 Presidential Scholars Awards, at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Michael has also been Senior Scenic Designer on two Comedy Central Celebrity Roasts, as well as the 2015 Lincoln Awards at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for Uplight, Inc, based in NYC. Some of his performance photography has been published in Liz Lerman’s book “Hiking the Horizontal”, as well on the websites and marketing materials for Bebe Miller Company and Rachel Tess Dance.


becca blackwell


Becca Blackwell is a talented and versatile professional in the world of performing arts, making their mark as a dedicated Production Stage Manager for Whim W’him. With an extensive background in stage management, lighting design, and stagehand work, Becca has made a significant impact on the Seattle dance scene.

As a Production Stage Manager, Becca orchestrates the behind-the-scenes magic, ensuring smooth and flawless performances. Their organizational prowess, exceptional communication skills, and ability to handle high-pressure situations make them an invaluable asset to the Whim W’him team. Becca’s meticulous planning and coordination allow the creative vision to come to life on stage seamlessly. Additionally, Becca’s talents extend to lighting design, where their keen artistic vision and technical finesse have contributed to the creation of captivating visual experiences on stage.

With a diverse skill set, unwavering dedication, and a passion for the performing arts, Becca Blackwell continues to shine as a vital force in the industry. Their contributions, both as a stage manager and lighting designer, have left a lasting impression on audiences and fellow professionals, solidifying their position as a respected and sought-after talent in the Seattle dance community.


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