partying – this is Les Sylphides?!

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? It's New Year's Eve. A dinner party is about to begin. Signs aren't good. The hosts are scarcely on speaking terms. The first couple to arrive are already tipsy and get drunker as the evening [...]

2017-02-07T02:20:56-08:00December 31st, 2013|

tuning up—only 12 days!

Upstage right, hands on shoulders, then neck and back, compact and sinuous, Amber Willett and Jim Kent sway side to side, spiraling downwards through a series of maneuvers, like bodily sleight of hand. At the back of the studio, Kyle [...]

2018-02-14T13:29:54-08:00January 8th, 2013|

collaborating – The Sofa costumes

Conceiving, designing, and building the costumes for Olivier Wevers’s The Sofa*  at Grand Rapids Ballet was truly a cooperative venture. Olivier described the effect he wanted. GRB artistic director Patricia Barker supplied leotard patterns for the basic costumes, from those [...]

2018-02-14T13:28:17-08:00December 21st, 2012|

traveling places – Amber Willett 2

When new Whim W’Him dancer Amber Willett set off for Tübingen, Germany last year, with her husband of two weeks, he had a good teaching fellowship, she didn’t have any job. But they settled in a fairy tale village on [...]

2018-02-14T13:08:31-08:00November 16th, 2012|

only connect—Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s previous piece for Whim W’Him, Cylindrical Shadows (further developed this last spring for Pacific Northwest Ballet) was grave, elegiac. Set mostly to beautiful, classical music, it offered a mournful but ultimately serene coming-to-terms with unexpected sorrow. Her [...]

2017-02-07T02:21:04-08:00July 18th, 2012|

Hedda in motion

It never occurred to me before last night, why Henrik Ibsen set his play Hedda Gabler in autumn, rather than the dead of a northern winter or during its brilliant summer. Autumn is a restless, transitional season, especially in a [...]

2017-02-07T02:21:04-08:00June 27th, 2012|

teasing – la langue de l’amour

La Langue de l'amour is a frothy, sassy, provocative little solo in the tradition of last year's hit Coquette. Choreographed last fall by Whim W'Him's Olivier Wevers, it premiered in November 2011 as part of a New Orleans Ballet Association [...]

2018-02-08T17:20:21-08:00January 4th, 2012|

inventing – Casey Curran

Casey Curran is a master of ingenuity, a prince of the imagination. His kinetic art takes the form of intricate sculptural mechanisms that resemble and fascinate like the marvels in a children’s fairy tale. For me, they recall the imagery [...]

2018-02-13T15:34:19-08:00June 19th, 2011|