Whim W’Him Announces 2016-2017 Season Programming

Whim W’Him’s Presents 2016/17 SENSES Season
Season includes 6 new contemporary dance works by 7 exceptional choreographers in 3 sensational programs. New works by Penny Saunders, Larry Keigwin, Lauren Edson, Joseph Hernandez, MADBOOTS, and artistic director, Olivier Wevers.

Season also features the return of 2012’s critically acclaimed Approaching Ecstasy, a Whim W’Him production in collaboration with Eric Banks and The Esoterics.

Season tickets on sale June 2016 through BrownPaperTickets.com

Seattle, WA-–Olivier Wevers’ award-winning contemporary dance company, Whim W’Him, announces its 2016-2017 season, continuing its commitment to innovation, collaboration, and high caliber relevant art that engages and challenges audiences. The company will present 6 new contemporary dance creations by 7 exceptional choreographers across 3 sensational programs, as well as the revival of Olivier Wevers’ haunting and moving audience favorite, Approaching Ecstasy.  Building on the success of 2015-2016, the company will again offer season subscriptions, allowing Whimmers to secure seats for all three productions and gain access to a variety of insider events.

The season kicks-off with the annual Whim W’Him Choreographic Shindig at the Erickson Theatre Off Broadway, September 9-17, 2016. This one-of-a-kind dancer-curated program supports emerging choreographic talent and empowers Whim W’Him’s dancers by placing them at the helm of the curatorial process. This year’s choreographers are Lauren Edson from Boise, ID; MADBOOTS DANCE (Jonathan Campbell & Austin Diaz) from New York; and Joseph Hernandez from Dresden, Germany.  All three choreographers have been selected through a competitive application and review process and are new to Whim W’Him.

The first annual Choreographic Shindig was a runaway hit, with sold out shows, stunning critical acclaim, and glowing audience feedback. Seattle Dances said, “Shindig was a unique opportunity for the dancers to push beyond Whim W’Him’s usual aesthetic values, select their own choreographers, and offer a creative platform to three lucky artists from around the globe.” And the Seattle Times commented, “the dancers were invited to select three choreographers (out of nearly 100 who applied) to set work on them. They chose brilliantly. “Choreographic Shindig” is as varied and vital as can be.”

Next, Whim W’Him will return to the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center for SENSATION, January 20-28, 2017.  SENSATION will premiere new creations by the artistic director of New York-based Keigwin + Company, Larry Keigwin; Penny Saunders, a dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, whose 2015 piece for Whim W’Him, Soir Bleu, was an audience hit; and Whim W’Him artistic director, Olivier Wevers.

June will find the return of Wevers’ critically-acclaimed production, Approaching Ecstasy, in collaboration with Eric Banks and The Esoterics.  This production, which incorporates 40 singers, 5 instrumentalists, and 7 dancers, is inspired by the poems of Constantine Cavafy, who lived as a closeted gay man in Egypt at the end of the nineteenth-century.  Upon its premiere in 2012, the Seattle Times termed it “visually sumptuous” and City Arts Magazine found “the combination of poetry, dance and music… a bold and successful choice, not only layering metaphors about human passion, loss and love into the production, but subtly displaying the tender and harmonious relationship between multiple forms of art.” The production will run from June 2-10, 2017 at the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center.

Whim W’Him dancers in 2016-2017 include: Liane Aung, Jim Kent, Patrick Kilbane, Mia Monteabaro, Tory Peil, Justin Reiter, and Karl Watson.

Season subscription packages will be on sale in June through BrownPaperTickets.com. All programming and dates are subject to change. For more information, visit whimwhim.org.


Whim W’Him’s 2016/17 SENSES Season

Whim W’Him Choreographic Shindig

SEPTEMBER 9-17, 2016

Choreographers:                 Lauren Edson | Joseph Hernandez | MADBOOTS


January 20-28, 2017

Choreographers:                 Larry Keigwin | Penny Saunders | Olivier Wevers

Approaching Ecstasy

JUNE 2-10, 2017

Choreography:                     Oliver Wevers
In collaboration with:           Eric Banks and The Esoterics



Olivier Wevers:

Dedicated to creating works of artistic innovation and collaboration, Brussels-born Olivier 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. He participated in the National Choreographers Initiative and the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute. Olivier 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.


Lauren Edson

Lauren Edson is a choreographer/dancer/educator currently based in Boise, Idaho. As a choreographer she has won several choreographic awards/fellowships and been commissioned by numerous companies and Universities throughout the nation. Her original choreography has appeared at Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out Series, Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Peridance Capezio Center, The Kennedy Center, On the Boards, Seattle, Conduit, Dance New Amsterdam and The McCallum Theatre. She recently formed LED, a company built on the fusion of artistic mediums, aiming to reawaken the performing art experience. With live original music, movement, architecture, sound and visual design, its collaborators transform traditional and non-traditional spaces into visceral worlds to transcend the artist/audience relationship. The company has been described as “an important addition the dance scene in the Northwest.” –Alice Kaderlan, The Seattle Times



MADBOOTS DANCE is co¬directed by Jonathan Campbell (The Juilliard School ’10) and Austin Diaz (NYU Tisch School of the Arts ’11). The duo has taught master classes at Broadway Dance Center, Dance New Amsterdam, Peridance Capezio Center, Point Park University, Velocity Dance Center, SMU Meadows, Lafayette College, Muhlenberg College, and DeSales University. Since 2011, MADBOOTS DANCE has been presented nationally and internationally by the Duo Multicultural Arts Center, The 92nd Street Y, Tisch School of the Arts, TOES for dance, and Norte Maar. The company was featured in Dance Magazine’s Vital Signs segment and The New York Times noted the company’s “sharp. elegant movements, dark theatricality and unashamed intimacy…” This summer, MADBOOTS DANCE will perform a week¬long run in the Doris Duke Theatre at the Jacob’s Pillow 2015 Dance Festival. Looking forward into 2016, Campbell and Diaz will take the company to Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, as well as, create a new work at Point Park University.


Joseph Hernandez

Joseph Hernandez (American) is a choreographer/dancer working and living in Dresden, Germany. As a dancer, he danced professionally as a member of the New York City Ballet, Ballet Austin, Royal Ballet of Flanders (Belgium), Les Ballets De Monte Carlo (Monaco), and the Semperoper Ballett (Germany). His repertoire includes featured roles in works by William Forsythe, Alexander Ekman, Jean Christophe Maillot, Ina Chistel Johannessen, Marcia Haydee, George Balanchine, Stijn Celis, Alexei Ratmansky, among others. As a choreographer, he created his first full length dance piece for the Royal Ballet of Flanders (We, Tender) in 2012. In 2013 and 2014 he created two works for Les Ballets De Monte Carlo’s Imprevus series entitled Sawdust and Rust and Persistent Sequence, respectively. Joseph now lives in Dresden Germany. His work as a writer and artist has been published throughout the internet (www.newscenario.net) and he contributes a monthly series (The Nielsson Conversations) in the S T O R E gallery (www.storecontemporary.com)


Larry Keigwin

Larry Keigwin is a native New Yorker and choreographer who has danced his way from the Metropolitan Opera to downtown clubs to Broadway and back. He founded KEIGWIN + COMPANY in 2003 and as Artistic Director, Keigwin has led the company as it has performed at theaters and dance festivals throughout New York City and around the world.

KEIGWIN + COMPANY presents Keigwin’s electrifying brand of contemporary dance on a myriad of stages including, The Kennedy Center, The Joyce Theater, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, New York City Center, among others. Since his company’s premiere performance at Joyce Soho in 2003, Keigwin has created dozens of dances for himself and his dancers, as well as for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, The Martha Graham Dance Company, New York Choreographic Institute, The Juilliard School, Vail International Dance Festival, and many others.

His work in musical theater includes choreography for the 2011 production of the musical Tales of the City at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and the off-Broadway production of Rent, for which he received the 2011 Joe A. Callaway Award from the Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation. In 2013, Keigwin choreographed the Broadway musical If/Then, starring Idina Menzel. He was most recently selected as one of the first choreographers to be commissioned by Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance.

Keigwin has designed and choreographed special events including Fashion’s Night Out: The Show in New York, which was produced by Vogue magazine and featured more than 150 of the industry’s top models. Keigwin has also mounted 11 versions of Bolero, his acclaimed large-scale community project that has been commissioned by communities across the country. Keigwin has created Keigwin Kabaret, a fusion of modern dance, vaudeville, and burlesque presented by the Public Theater at Joe’s Pub and by Symphony Space.

As a dancer, Keigwin has danced at the Metropolitan Opera in Doug Varone’s Le Sacre Du Printemps and Julie Taymor’s The Magic Flute, in addition to his work with Mark Dendy (receiving a Bessie Award in 1998 for his performance in Dream Analysis), Jane Comfort, John Jasperse, Doug Elkins, Zvi Gotheiner, and David Rousseve. He appeared in the Broadway show Dance of the Vampires, the off-Broadway show The Wild Party and the Julie Taymor, Oscar nominated film Across the Universe.

He is a co-founder of the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, a multi-disciplinary festival designed to increase cultural opportunities in the region, as well as provide creative residencies to young, emerging choreographers. Keigwin is a member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society.


Penny Saunders

Penny graduated from the Harid Conservatory in 1995. She then began her professional career with the American Repertory Ballet under the direction of Septime Webre, danced with Ballet Arizona and MOMIX, and was a founding member of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (then Cedar Lake Ensemble). In 2004, Saunders joined Hubbard Street, where she began to pursue her choreographic interests, creating for Hubbard Street 2 in 2011 through its International Commissioning Project, and premiering her first work for Hubbard Street’s main company in 2013. She has since choreographed for the Nexus Project, Owen/Cox Dance Group, SFDanceworks, Whim W’Him, Grand Rapids Ballet, and Neos Dance Theatre as a choreographer in residence at the University of Akron. In 2015 Saunders returned to Hubbard Street’s main company and began a three-year choreographic residency with Grand Rapids Ballet. She thanks her lovely husband and beautiful son for all of their support.



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, that showcases innovative dance in collaboration with global artists. www.whimwhim.org

Publicity Contact
Catherine Bombico/ bombico@whimwhim.org/ whimwhim.org

Schedule and programming subject to change. For further information, please visit whimwhim.org.


PO Box #70285 ● Seattle, WA 98127 ● whimwhim.org

Publicity Contact

Catherine Bombico

Schedule and programming subject to change.