The Sensastion Of Whim W'Him

By Chris Heide

Credit:  Bamberg Fine Art

Credit: Bamberg Fine Art

Whim W’Him has once again solidified its reputation as the premiere Seattle contemporary dance company. In its latest iteration, Sensation, Whim W’Him presents three works that once again delve into a deep analysis of the human psyche. All three pieces are a clever study of crowd dynamics. As always, Whim W’Him presents a show that is deeply reflective of current events, tackling themes such as isolation, acceptance, and loss.

In reference to the themes of Sensation, Olivier Wevers states:

We each have the ability to engage in activities that shape the world around us, eventually shaping our own lives. This comes in many forms. I believe that we each have a unique voice and out own unique way to make that voice heard. The diversity and singularity of each of our messages is what makes us distinctive and worthy. Throughout history, dance has reminded us of the beauty in the community, of the power of figurative language, but most of all the enduring resilience of the human spirit, especially when we are drowned by the practical routines of life.

First up is Penny Saunders’ play-by-play, a masterful and masterful study of the fruition of a new idea.  It is a hauntingly intimate portrayal of the uphill battle that any new idea faces. It also works as representation of an individual struggling to find their place in the world. Very apropos given our current political climate. Justin Reiter is featured heavily in this piece and executes his choreography with a delicate, graceful ease.

The second pieces of the showcase comes from Larry Keigwin. Line Dance is a subtly genius piece of choreography, where in the dancers assemble and disassemble literally lines at an almost frenetic pace. There is always one dancer who does not conform to the anchoring lines. It is a wonderful study of the discord between conformity and individuality. 

Catch & Release is undoubtedly the masterpiece of Sensation. Choreographed by Wevers, Catch & Release encapsulates Whim W’Him at its best. Nuanced choreography, evocative lighting and a rawness of emotional are all hallmarks of Weavers’ original creations. The piece tells the story of a young woman (Tory Peil) who struggles with the abandonment of a lover. Viewed alternatively, Catch & Release could be seen as a case study of a young woman attempting to heal from the grips of addiction and loss. The choreography is simply stunning and one of Weaver’s best works to date.

Sensation features tremendous dancing from Patrick Kilbane, Tory Peil, Justin Reiter and Karl Watson. Overall, the whole evening is a tour-de-force of contemporary dance. It is easy to see that Whim W’Him is currently at the top of their game.