Whim W’Him Contemporary Dance

by Christina Butcher for OLY ARTS

Seattle contemporary dance company Whim W’Him comes to the Minnaert Center for the Arts as part of the South Puget Sound Community College Artist and Lecture Series. The dance company will perform one of its newest programs, SENSATION, under artistic director Olivier Wevers. “This is our first time in Olympia,” said Wevers. “We’re very excited to be there. (SENSATION) really shows off the dancers of Whim W’Him, who are wonderful artists.”

Although originally from Brussels, Belguim, Wevers has become a permanent fixture in the Pacific Northwest’s world of dance. Before Wevers worked as a choreographer, he performed as a classical ballet dancer. He’s since danced with Canada Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Columbia City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. He founded Whim W’Him in 2009 after gaining 27 years’ experience in ballet, choreography and set works. Since opening its doors, Whim W’Him has produced 40 original, contemporary dance works. “That’s what makes us unique,” Wevers told OLY ARTS. “We’re all about creating new work, and I think that’s the future of dance. It’s new creations: giving them life and new voices. We continue to invite new choreographers to create for us.”

Since opening its doors in 2009, Whim W’Him has produced 40 original, contemporary dance works. The 2016-2017 season alone includes six new dances from seven different choreographers. This season’s SENSATION program features work by Larry Leigwin, the New-York-based artistic director of Keigwin + Company; Penny Saunders, an award-winning choreographer and dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; and Wevers himself.

Wevers gained recognition for his innovative, collaborative choreography as early as 2008. That year he received funding from Artist Trust, a nonprofit organization striving to enrich Washington state communities through support to artists, to choreograph Shindig. He talked about the importance of supporting the arts in light of recent talks of cutting National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities funding: “We have to be more aware of the arts around us and we have to be more civic in the way we support the arts. Art is expensive. It doesn’t happen cheaply. So (this is) a reminder that we are all responsible for the arts around us. We need to support and engage in the arts.”

Wevers expressed why the arts are more important now than ever. “People need the arts to (help them) find a way into their imagination, to be inspired. We try to bring beauty out of dark places. I know a lot of people feel this is a very dissident time right now…We need to find a way to engage (with them), to add to their lives, to give them something to look forward to—something to be inspired by.”

What: Whim W’Him

When:  7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10

Where: Kenneth J Minnaert Center for the Arts,
South Puget Sound Community College,
2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia

How much: $17-$22

Learn more: 360-753-8586 │ Whim W’Him

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