A lucky group of dance students and islanders got a chance to work with and observe Seattle’s Whim W’Him dance company in action when the acclaimed and athletic troupe visited Vashon on Jan. 3 and 4.
While on the island, Whim W’Him offered a free introduction to contemporary dance class for 16 intermediate and advanced students of Vashon Center for Dance and later held an open rehearsal in VCA’s Kay White Hall for approximately 60 invited guests.
According to VCA’s interim executive director, Allison Halstead Reid, the visit was part of an ongoing conversation between the arts center and Oliver Wevers, former Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer and current artistic director of Whim W’Him, aimed at presenting the dance company’s work on Vashon.
Halstead Reid said she hoped that the group would have another week of rehearsals at VCA in March, followed by public performances of a new dance concert at VCA in October.
If all goes as planned, Whim W’Him will join Seattle Dance Collective, another supergroup of Seattle dancers, in making VCA its home away from home for special performances.
The much-ballyhooed and sold-out debut performances of SDC took place at VCA last summer — with a return engagement for that group already announced to take place in late July and early August at VCA.
Halstead Reed hopes that the trend of dance companies making their way to the stage of VCA will continue.
“Whim W’Him, like Seattle Dance Collective, brings a level of art and dance to VCA that our community has asked for and VCA’s beautiful stage can accommodate well,” Halstead Reid said.
To find out more about Whim W’Him, visit whimwhim.org, or catch the troupe in performances of their latest work, “XPRESS,” featuring world-premiere new works from Wevers and two other celebrated dance-makers, Sidra Bell and Ihsan Rustem. The show debuted on Jan. 17, with final performances taking place at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24 and 25, at Cornish Playhouse, at the Seattle Center.
— Elizabeth Shepherd