This past weekend, an eager crowd gathered at the Cornish Playhouse to see Olivier Wevers’ and guest choreographer Juanjo Arques’ latest creations for Seattle’s contemporary dance group Whim W’him. While the performance featured three distinct works, the theme of the night was centered around gun violence, as initiated by Wevers’ piece Instantly Bound, which was inspired by the overwhelming amount of mass shootings and the resulting gun control debate. Wevers added a visual component to this project by partnering with Greg Bokor, who created a 12×4 foot pencil-sketch of an assault weapon. Guests used erasers imprinted with names of gun victims to rub away parts of the gun depicted. By inviting the audience to engage in this metaphorical process, it demonstrated the power of community in generating awareness, and most importantly, dialogue.
On the fashion end of things, guests kept it casual for the most part, though some used Saturday night as an excuse to kick it up a notch. A friend of one of the dancers, Shannon Adams effortlessly pulled off a sophisticated grunge look in her cobalt blue leather jacket by LA-based collection TheEternal. As designers are working with leather like never before, they are introducing new textures, colors and shapes to the ever-present trend. Adams demonstrates how experimenting with leather in these new mediums will guarantee you won’t be overlooked.
Arques’ assistant choreographer Jennifer Porter wore a sultry black halter-top that displayed her sculpted shoulders from years of hard work in the studio. Both Porter and Arques were radiating with enthusiasm, as this is the first time Arques’ work has been shown in the states.
Casey Stevens looked simply chic in her belted all black ensemble with her friend Kandace Loewen, who has followed Whim W’him since its inception in 2009.
And, even after dancing for nearly two hours, Jim Kent looked fresh and put together in his geometric patterned sweater and matching embroidered Whim W’him company socks. On his left is Andrew Bartee, who has danced and choreographed with Whim W’him before and will do so again for their upcoming series at the more intimate Erickson Theatre off Broadway this coming May.
Whether you’re a dance aficionado or passionate about social change, I strongly encourage you to look into the work of Olivier Wevers and the eight powerful artists that comprise Whim W’him.
To stay up to date with Whim Whim’s productions: http://www.whimwhim.org
Help bring international choreographer Juanjo Arques to Seattle by donating here: http://www.power2give.org/PugetSound/Project/Detail?projectId=2732