October 30, 2019

Keri Kellerman
Executive Director
707-350-9446 |


Seattle, WA – Whim W’Him continues its 10th anniversary season this January with XPRESS, featuring three world premieres from three seasoned and internationally celebrated contemporary dance makers: Sidra Bell, Ihsan Rustem and Artistic Director & Founder Olivier Wevers. The program is tailored for contemporary dance enthusiasts who crave innovation and celebrate artistic exploration.

Prolific movement illustrator, Sidra Bell couples fierce athleticism and pure honesty. As Dance Magazine wrote, Bell “brings her dancers to the depths of their abilities and the audience to the edge of their seats.”

A returning Whim W’Him favorite, Ihsan Rustem promises wit and fast-paced precision. The Seattle Times has called Rustem a “veritable powerhouse.”

Wevers has made collaborating with diverse and internationally acclaimed artists on new dance works that explore and explode issues relevant to our time a core part of Whim W’Him’s mission. As Wevers stated, “I love bringing strong voices to Seattle that express the breadth of our humanity.”

In this spirit, Wevers’ piece for XPRESS will include a collaboration with RSVR, the artistic team of Ian Campbell and Haley Buckbee, inspired by their installation SPOT at the 4th annual Lusio Festival: A Night to Awaken in Volunteer Park this August. RSVR says, “The work intends to initiate reflection and questions about equity and diversity by augmenting visual expectations.”


Whim W’Him’s January 2020 production, XPRESS, features three world premieres from three seasoned and internationally celebrated contemporary dance makers. Making her Whim W’Him debut is Sidra Bell, winner of the 1st Prize for Choreography at the Solo Tanz Theater Festival 2011 in Stuttgart, Germany, and founder of Sidra Bell Dance in New York. Ihsan Rustem is coming back to Seattle from Switzerland to set another new creation on the Whim W’Him dancers. Rustem is the winner of Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest 2012. Whim W’Him Artistic Director and Founder Olivier Wevers will also create a new piece for this program.


January 17-18 and 24-25, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
Tickets: $35 advance | $40 day of show | $60 premium | $15 student | $5 TeenTix

Single tickets and season subscriptions on sale now at


Whim W’Him and Cornish College of the Arts are committed to ensuring that our performance venues are accessible to all patrons. The closest access point for the Cornish Playhouse is the accessible drop-off area on Mercer Street between the Playhouse and the Seattle Rep.

In addition to the handicapped parking spots in Mercer Garage, there are four on-street parking spaces on the east side of Warren Avenue North just south of Mercer Street designated for exclusive 24-hour use by those with Washington State disability placards.

Patrons requiring assistance may enter the Cornish Playhouse using the ADA-accessible door on the west side of the building, just south of the west side courtyard entrance. Please ring the doorbell and a staff member will come assist you.


Whim W’Him supports dancers, choreographers and artists who are creating work of, by and for our community. In addition to providing a platform for artists to innovate and collaborate, we provide a platform for audiences to come together in dialogue with the artists and with each other. Join members of the dance company and Whim W’Him Artistic Director & Founder Olivier Wevers immediately after each performance for an open and informal conversation to share your experience and learn more about the process of creating new dance work.

Choreographer Sidra Bell will also be teaching a masterclass at Velocity Dance Center on Thursday, October 24 and 31, 2019 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Registration is $15 through Velocity Dance Center.

Ihsan Rustem will be teaching a contemporary technique class for the UW Department of Dance, as well as an open class to the community at the UW Department of Dance, on November 9, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

Other opportunities to be in community with Whim W’Him artists and dancers include:
• XPRESS Buzzraiser: Wednesday, January 8, 2020 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Totokaelo on Capitol Hill in Seattle – Join Artistic Director & Founder Olivier Wevers and members of the Whim W’Him dance company for light refreshments and a preview of the three world premieres being created for XPRESS. This event is free and open to the public. Contact for more information.

• Teen Night: Friday, January 24, 2020 – A collaboration with TeenTix, featuring a pre- show pizza party and conversation with Artistic Director & Founder Olivier Wevers. Contact for more information.


Whim W’Him company dancers for the 2019/20 season are Liane Aung, Cameron Birts, Jane Cracovaner, Adrian Hoffman, Jim Kent, Mia Monteabaro and Karl Watson. Dancer bios can be found at

Sidra Bell, Choreographer

Sidra Bell is currently a Master Lecturer at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, an Adjunct Professor at Ball State University in Indiana, was artist in residence at Harvard University, was an Adjunct Professor at Georgian Court University and was an Adjunct Professor at Barnard College in New York City. She was a University of Minnesota Theater Arts & Dance Cowles Visiting Artist and an artist in residence at Cornish College of the Arts. Bell won 1st Prize for Choreography at the Solo Tanz Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany in 2011 and a 2015 National Dance Project Production Award from the New England Foundation for the Arts. Bell’s work has been seen throughout the United States and in Denmark, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Slovenia, Sweden, Germany, China, Canada, Aruba, Korea, Brazil, and Greece. Bell has created over 100 new works notably for Ailey II, The Juilliard School, Harvard University, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet School, Robert Moses’ KIN, METdance, Springboard Danse Montréal, Uppercut Dansteater (Denmark), and Motto Dans Kolectif (Turkey). In 2012, Bell was commissioned as choreographer for the feature film TEST in San Francisco written/directed by Chris Mason Johnson (Frankfurt Ballet/White Oak Project). TEST was awarded two grand jury prizes from Outfest and was screened at festivals worldwide, including the Seattle Film Festival, Frameline37 (San Francisco), Outfest (LA), Berlinale, and New York City Lincoln Center’s NewFest Festival. Bell is a sought-after master teacher and her alternative pedagogy, Contemporary Systems-an interior & material approach was featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine and Dance Studio Life Magazine. She has taught her unique creative practice at major institutions for dance and theater throughout Canada, Europe, South America, and the United States. She is the Creative Director of the award-winning MODULE, a New York City- based immersive laboratory for movement and theater artists.

Ihsan Rustem, Choreographer

Ihsan Rustem was born in London, where he trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. In 2015 Rustem was appointed Resident Choreographer for the NW Dance Project in Portland, OR, where he is creating his tenth work for the company this season. Rustem has also created works for dance companies throughout the US and around the world, including Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, National Ballet of Chile, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Whim W’Him, Istanbul State Ballet, Kazan State Opera and Ballet, Siberian State Ballet, Salt Contemporary Dance, Arts Umbrella Dance Company, National Youth Dance Company, and Cinevox Junior Company. In 2018/19, Nederlands Dans Theater named Rustem as one of their Up & Coming Choreographers. His work for the NW Dance Project has received numerous accolades, including the 2012 Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest Award, the Public Choice Award at the 25th International Competition for Choreographers Hannover, and 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. From 2000-2014 Rustem was a dancer with Ballet Theater Munich, Introdans, State Theater Bern Ballet, Tanz Luzerner Theater and Adventures in Motion Pictures. He is the former Artistic Director of the Dance Art Studio Ballettschule Luzern.

Olivier Wevers, Artistic Director

Dedicated to creating works of artistic innovation and collaboration, Brussels-born Olivier Wevers founded Whim W’Him in 2009. Before establishing the company, he was a principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. His awards and recognition include the Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Fellowship, the City of Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, the grand prize award for an unprecedented two years in a row at the annual Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in California, and the ArtistTrust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award. Wevers participated in the National Choreographers Initiative and the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute. He has created works for companies and festivals around the world, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, BalletX, Spectrum Dance Theater, Prix de Lausanne, White Bird’s 4×4 Ballet Project, and Dance the Dream Seattle.


Whim W’Him is an award-winning Seattle-based contemporary dance company founded in 2009 by Olivier Wevers, former Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer and choreographer. The company presents all new works and has a mission to be a platform centered around choreography and dance for artists to explore their craft through innovation and collaboration. Since its formation in 2009, Whim W’Him has created more than 50 new contemporary dance works by 30+ global artists.

Whim W’Him is an anti-racist organization and works to disrupt and dismantle systemic oppression through dance and movement that intentionally move our community toward collective liberation. Whim W’Him acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.