Whim W’Him Contemporary Dance Is a Must-See Pop-up Showcase

Whim W’Him Contemporary Dance Is a Must-See Pop-up Showcase

Ava Wine, Staff Writer

Whim W’Him is a contemporary dance company based in Seattle. It was founded in 2009 and has been performing ever since. The company is very select and only has seven dancers but 39 choreographers. Last week I went to see their winter showcase at Cornish Playhouse. This performance consisted of three acts: “A Lavender Touch,” “Primetime, “and “Yemaya’s Embrace.” I really enjoyed the show because of how the stage was set up and the contrast of simplicity and complexity.

The first act was “A Lavender Touch,” created by Olivier Wevers. Wevers wanted to bring awareness to the prejudice towards the LGBTQ+ community. He made this dance to touch on the Lavender scare, a time in the 1950s when thousands of people were fired from their jobs because of their sexuality. I personally liked this one a lot because of the usage of the stage. At the Cornish Playhouse they have a main stage as well as an additional stage that is in the center of the audience. The dancers not only used the whole stage but got close to the audience, making the dance much more intense.

“Primetime” was created by Mike Esperanza to replicate the scenes from TV shows he watched as a kid. He used the show “Scenes from a Marriage” as his main inspiration. In the dance they had tables, chairs and things you would see on a movie set. Two of the dancers were wearing everyday clothes while the others wore white pants and a white shirt. I really liked how this dance showed the clear difference between when the “cameras” are on and when they were off. I liked how they incorporated suspension into their movements. This piece was around 20 minutes long and I did not look away once. There was always something happening during this dance.

The third dance was my absolute favorite. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa created a piece called “Yemaya’s Embrace.” It had a mix of music and someone saying lines from a poem playing while they were dancing. This dance had props as well. They had seven, almost statue-looking blocks. The dancers used those to hide and would use them for lifts. I liked this dance because of how much work it took physically. There was a lot of lifting other people in the air or balancing. They made it look effortless while they were dancing while most people would have fallen over. We were not given the storyline of this dance, which is another reason I liked it. It was open to your own interpretation.

Whim W’him is having another performance at Town Hall Seattle with all new routines. They are partnering with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra on Feb. 10 and 12. I highly recommend going to see them at least once. Not only will you enjoy the show but after they have a Q and A you can attend for free!