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Olivier Wevers

  • Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Midsummer is a Dream Come True

    Attending Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will go down as one of the best experiences of my life. Up until that moment, I had only seen the company’s DVD version, which is wonderful by the way, but clearly not the same. And while I say this about nearly every PNB performance (I can’t help it; I’ve been a die-hard fan since I was a kid), I haven’t been this swept away by a ballet since PNB’s Romeo et Juliette.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Kiyon Gaines as Bottom and principal dancer Carrie Imler as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, choreographed by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Angela Sterling.

    Pacific

    The yummy, over-the-top scenery with its robust pink roses, a shimmering spider web (complete with a gigantic spider which—being the girly girl I am—could’ve done without) and an enormous green frog brought the mythical Athenian forest glade to life.

    Friday night’s cast featured Carrie Imler as the lovely and completely “duped” Titania, Jonathan Porretta as the arrogant Oberon, and Josh Spell as the deliciously mischievous Puck.

    Imler has such unique versatility, it’s insane. Her dancing was nothing short of diva worthy, while her displays of affection toward Bottom were most charming.

    And speaking of Bottom…kudos to Ezra Thomson! His performance as the bumbling buffoon turned donkey was so hilarious, I was wiping tears from my eyes. Thomson maintained a superb balance between smitten man (gazing down at Imler's bust -- ooh la la) and goofy animal (scratching at his fleas and continually trying to eat the small pile of greens on the ground) with aplomb.

    Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Josh Spell as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, choreographed by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Angela Sterling.

    Pacific

    Josh Spell unleashed his inner actor as the wildly entertaining Puck. I must say, I’ve never witnessed as much charisma from Spell as I did that night. He truly *was* Puck! He completely captured the essence of his character, which I hope leads to more roles of this nature in the near future, whether in or outside of PNB.

    Next, I’ve got just two words for you: Jonathan Porretta. Need I say more? (No, of course not but I will for the sake of the review.) Whether he’s pulling out all the stops (did you see him as the Jester in Cinderella? Hello!), or holding himself back just a smidge as the slightly in need of anger management Oberon, Porretta delivers. It’s just that simple.

    Maria Chapman’s performance as the pining Helena was spot-on. I felt terrible for her as she chased after Lucien Postlewaite’s completely disinterested and downright disgusted Demetrius. (I mean, you can’t blame a girl for trying, right? Demetrius is quite a dish!) Chalnessa Eames and Olivier Wevers made for an adoring pair as Hermia and Lysander. Their tender glances and gentle embraces were nothing short of ahhh worthy. Especially enjoyable were the moments following Puck’s faux pas, as both Demetrius and Lysander fought for the affections of the completely baffled Helena, who in turn is doing everything she can to avoid being pummeled by the scorned Hermia. (Loved it!)

    Ariana Lallone gave a knockout performance as the gravity-defying Hippolyta. She wielded that golden bow like it was more of an extension of her arm versus an actual prop. And while I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; the stage will appear decidedly empty without her presence next season. (Sob!)

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Ariana Lallone as Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, choreographed by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Angela Sterling.

    Pacific

    Rachel Foster’s petite beauty was highlighted to perfection in her role as the Butterfly. Her dancing was energetic, inspiring and just freaking awesome.

    Last but certainly by no means least (you know what I’m getting at right?), is the Divertissement in Act II. I’ve got to be honest and say that Carla Korbes and Jeffrey Stanton brought the house down with their completely flawless, absolutely thrilling performance. I didn’t think it was humanly possible to extend one’s arms back, back, back like that, but obviously I was wrong. (Thank you for setting me straight, Carla. :)) The applause they received was nearly deafening, but extremely well deserved. Bravo!

    Pacific Northwest Ballet's A Midsummer Night's Dream runs through April 17th. Tickets are available by visiting PNB.org

  • Pacific Northwest Ballet's Contemporary 4 Thrills & Delights

    The stars were shining brightly during Pacific Northwest Ballet’s opening of Contemporary 4. The evening’s mixed program featured four outstanding displays of diversity, ingenuity and beautiful creativity.

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    Pacific

    Pacific featured both men and women dressed in swooshy, flowing skirts which looked just a wee bit prettier on the men than the women. Josh Spell and Benjamin Griffiths especially worked those skirts like it was nobody’s business, and I enjoyed the overall effect the costumes had on the performance. Another duo worth mentioning is Carla Korbes and Olivier Wevers. Their pas de deux was absolutely yummy! Lucien Postlewaite was as beautiful as always. (You know something, I often find it difficult to wrap my head around this man’s softness, his vulnerability. It’s just exquisite!) Then of course, there was the perfection known as Ariana Lallone. This lady continually brings a rich, new layer of magic to every performance, and I for one will miss her presence in the seasons to come.   

    The world premiere of Marco Goecke’s Place a Chill made me think, “Voguing on steroids”. That may not be the best way to describe it, but that’s immediately what came to mind. Lightening fast upper body moves were mixed with equally fast finger-flicking shivers made you wonder whether the dancers were trying to embrace—or fight off—the impending chill. It was absolutely incredible to watch! In this act, the stand-out performer award must go to both Jonathan Poretta and James Moore. Guys—you’re my heroes! Enough said.

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    Pacific

    The Piano Dance, choreographed by ballet master, Paul Gibson was just…(insert Italian kiss of the finger tips here) “Bellissima!” The stunning blood red costumes were to die for; the dancing was soulful, flirty and infectiously fun. Lesley Rausch and Seth Orza made for a most mesmerizing pair (but seriously, what do you expect from these two?), while Chalnessa Eames and Josh Spell were enthusiastically coquettish and spry. (The playful booty smack was most appreciated by all in attendance.) Rounding out the splendid cast was Margaret Mullin and Jerome Tisserand, who looked like “two happy young lovers”, and the spunky Rachel Foster and Benjamin Griffiths whose performance I felt was the icing on the cake. Quite honestly, I could watch The Piano Dance over and over again, and never get bored.

    The fourth and final piece was Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH. This highly anticipated piece did not fail to impress and delight the masses. The lighthearted romance was the perfect blend of strength and versatility due to the likes of Batkhurel Bold, Seth Orza, Karel Cruz, Carla Korbes and Carrie Imler. The male “power triangle” was counter-balanced by the softness and charm of the ladies, who could never be mistaken for shrinking violets! To the contrary, Imler's own breed of strength silently dared the boys to keep up with her, while Korbes' quiet air of authority demands utmost respect. Performance highlights include Bold’s freaking awesome lift and twirl of Mr. Orza (go ahead and read that twice, I’ll wait), and the fantastic chemistry between Cruz and Korbes.

    Contemporary 4 is one rep that is not to be missed. If you haven’t already done so, please visit pnb.org to purchase tickets. You will not be disappointed!

    ~Reviewed by Denise Opper, Class Act Tutu & Dancewear Media Liaison

  • Summer (Dance) Vacations

    Courtesy of La Vie Photography. Houston Ballet principal Melody Herrera and Lucien Postelwaite rehearsing a new work by Annabelle Lopez Ochao with Whim W'Him, a new Seattle dance company directed by Olivier Wevers.

    Courtesy

    "Vacations are better put to use as immersion excursions. Apparently, I am not the only dance nerd in town. Others are spending their precious down time doing just what they love, dancing. For this crop, summer seems to be more about changing the where than the what."~Quote Nancy Wozny, CultureMap.com  

    The moment I saw this post, I knew I had to share it! Nancy Wozny of Culture Map-Houston, reveals what some of the hottest names in dance are busy doing this summer. We were especially pleased to note that Olivier Wevers and the Whim W'him crew (Lucien Postlewaite, Melody Herrera, Annabelle Lopez Ochao) received a most honorable mention! You can read the rest of the article here.

  • Review: Pacific Northwest Ballet's Coppelia

    Pacific Northwest Ballet's Coppélia  All photos © Angela Sterling

    Pacific

    Pacific Northwest Ballet pulled out all the stops with their latest production of George Balanchine's, Coppelia.  This fantastic production features all new lavishly designed (read: gorgeous!) sets, to die for costumes, and of course the high-caliber artistry that PNB is world-famous for.

    Swanilda/Coppélia

    Saturday's matinee featured Lesley Rausch as Swanilda/Coppelia, Jerome Tisserand as Franz, and Olivier Wevers as Dr. Coppelius.  Right off the bat, I have to give serious applause to Rausch for her outstanding interpretation. She not only delighted everyone in the audience with her arrogance and saucy attitude, but she transported us into the heart of her character. Sure, Swanilda isn't the nicest of young ladies, but her love for Franz is evident, even when faced with the sting of rejection.
     

    Franz

    Jerome Tisserand's Franz was perfectly executed. Like Rausch, he had a way drawing me in, making me feel almost as fed up with Swanilda's antics as he was. His attitude was a perfect blend of inflated ego meets young playboy looking for love.  After discovering that his love interest is only a doll, one would expect Franz to act a bit more sheepish over his foolish behavior. (I mean, seriously!) However, Tisserand remains true to character and Franz casually glosses over that "minor faux pas" with a sudden profession of love for Swanilda, which of course, she accepts.

    Dr. Coppelius

     
    Olivier Wevers deserved the standing ovation he received for his performance as the highly eccentric, slightly creepy, Dr. Coppelius. How it is Wevers can pull such multi-faceted characters out of his back pocket is beyond me! His Dr. Coppelius was a thrilling "yin and yang"; an absent-minded and lonely old man, whose walking stick doubles as a handy weapon against "the wild hooligans" of the town. But underneath that "grumpy old man" veneer lurks a borderline-fiendish soul.

    Honorable Mentions

     
    Act three's splendid cast also deserves special mention. I was most impressed by Carrie Imler's "Dawn" and Sarah Ricard Orza's "Prayer". These dancers gave equally passionate and exquisite performances. Imler was a vision of dazzling sunlight--bright, confident and striking.  Ricard Orza danced "Like a fairy tale princess!" (to quote the little one sitting next to me) with her flowing port de bras and delicate phrasing. The action-packed "Discord and War" featured Batkhurel Bold and Lindsi Dec entering the stage like wild flashes of lightning dressed in silvery armor. As always, the power behind these two striking  dancers takes your breath away. Their amazing turns and leaps were all done whilst holding long spears--none of which whacked anyone else nor made kabobs out of their thighs. (An acrobatic feat of epic proportions, especially when you consider how clumsy the rest of is--read: yours truly!--would be in the same situation.)PNB's Coppelia is filled with good natured humor, an outstanding cast, and delicious imagery. If you haven't yet made your way to McCaw Hall to catch the "Happiest Ballet on Earth!", I would highly suggest that you do so. Like...today!

    Coppelia runs from June 3rd-13th. Tickets are available by visiting PNB.org.

     

    For those of you unable to attend, please enjoy our gallery of  Pacific Northwest Ballet's premiere production of Coppélia: Choreography by Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust (after Marius Petipa).

    All Photos © Angela Sterling

    For more stunning dance photos, visit  Angela Sterling Photography.


    By Denise Opper

  • Love, Passion and Dedication: Olivier Wevers & Lucien Postlewaite

    Just like Valentine's Day, the dance world is all about love, passion and dedication. From the gorgeous costumes to the sumptuous sets, to the swelling orchestral music to the supreme dedication to one's craft, everything is cloaked and bejeweled in love.

    In our first Valentine's Day segment, we chatted with the talented Seth Orza and Sarah Ricard Orza of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Next up in our special Valentine's Day feature, we'll chat with PNB principal dancer (and Whim W'him Artistic Director), Olivier Wevers about his marriage to fellow PNB principal, Lucien Postlewaite.

    Olivier and Lucien met while working at PNB. The couple later tied the knot in Santa Cruz, CA on November 2nd, 2008.

    Lucien Postlewaite & Olivier Wevers  Wedding Day, November 2, 2008

    Lucien

    Like other dance marriages, this handsome couple doesn't have to deal with the stress of trying to balance a career with spending quality time with their spouse. "Our schedule is pretty similar, which helps with spending time together," says Olivier.

    Additionally, Wevers cherishes the many emotional benefits a relationship with a fellow dancer brings. "We understand and support each other, and know when the other needs a little support or criticism. It {the dance world} is a very mental world...it plays with your insecurities and your mind. Having a spouse that deals with similar issues really helps. Also, we push each other as artists. We have both the same set of values, and help each other identify what our priorities are!"

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Olivier Wevers as the evil Carabosse, and principal dancer Carla Körbes as the Lilac Fairy in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty.  Photo © Angela Sterling.

    Pacific

    This Valentine's Day, Olivier will be up to his eyebrows in "Work, work, work!" However, the pair does have a quiet, relaxing getaway planned. "On Sunday, I will be performing a Duke in the Sleeping Beauty with PNB at 1pm, and then driving like a mad man to get to Bellevue. FRAGMENTS is being performed at 3pm at the Meydenbauer center. {This is for Whim W'him, Olivier's new company.} Then after that, I am meeting with a videographer to get the DVD ready from the 3Seasons to send to presenters, Directors, etc. So quite a busy day, but finishing with packing for beach, sun and margaritas! (We're) leaving for Mexico for a week without a computer or cell phone!"

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Lucien Postlewaite and Kaori Nakamura as Prince Florimund and Princess Aurora in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty.  Photo © Angela Sterling.

    Pacific

    Now that sounds like my kind of holiday!

    You can catch Olivier and Lucien performing at McCaw Hall this week in Pacific Northwest Ballet's, The Sleeping Beauty . More information about upcoming encore performances for Whim W'him can be found by visiting WhimW'Him's website.

  • Whim W'Him Part Three

    In Part Two of our interview, Artistic Director Olivier Wevers revealed some of the challenges he’s had to face since birthing his new company, Whim W’him.  Continuing now in Part Three, Olivier shares the ways in which Whim W’him will be a unique force in the world of dance…

    Hannah Lagerway, Whim W'Him

    Hannah

    Class Act:  You speak a lot about collaboration and the process of creating new works. In what ways will Whim W’him be different from other companies? How will it be unique?
    Olivier:  One of the things I’m trying to do with this company first is to bridge the dance community a little bit. Because what I’ve witnessed in Seattle over the past 13 years that I’ve been here is all these different dance communities—ballet, modern, contemporary, independent artists—everybody’s trying to do their own thing. And I really want to try to bridge that gap. I mean there are so many wonderful artists and I don’t think you need to be selective of one style and classify that one style either. In the way I pick the dancers—having PNB dancers, those classically trained dancers, Spectrum dancers that are dancers that usually dance barefoot, and then some independent artists in town—I’m trying to put all those dancers that would usually not get to work together, get to work together. It’s bridging the communities in Seattle and I want to bring back artistic collaboration.

    Another thing that I’ve witnessed as a dancer is that so many people are blaming the economy that is so bad right now. So everybody is trying to do something like, “We’re going to create this ballet but we’re going to use this in-house designer, in-house lighting director, etc and we’re going to try to make it so that we don’t have to pay the orchestra overtime and such”. The resources are really limited, and it’s not just here but all around. So one of the things I really want to bring back is collaboration. Some of the greatest works to me are the ones that had a composer, a designer that was brought in, a few artists working on it, and a few dramatizers working on it. I want to go back to that. I want to be able to collaborate with other artists.
    It’s been really rewarding because for the past few months I’ve been working with a composer, with a costume designer, a fantastic lighting designer—they’ve all brought so much to the work, so much more than I could’ve envisioned just on my own.
    I get to do this because I’m also the one doing all the fund raising, so I know this is going to cost a lot more—it’s going to take a lot more time, more resources. But that also motivates me to work harder (at fund raising) so that I can do all the things that I want to do.

    Jonathan Porretta, Whim W'Him

    Jonathan

    Class Act:  That’s fantastic! I would love to see that happen again. It’s been years since you would even heard about any sort of collaboration going on.
    Olivier:  Yeah, that’s right! I see how it happens behind the doors. It’s not about the process anymore. Choreographers 20 years ago would spend months in the studio. For example, some people say Jerome Robbins was a genius, but he never just went in the studio and created a piece in two weeks. It took him months and he would re-work it, and re-work it, and re-work it in the studio. It was all about the process as well as the product. Then adding in collaborators as well—sets, music, designers. None of that exists anymore. The process now is, “How fast can you choreograph?” and then “Can you use this in-house person for this and that?” Not that these people aren’t talented, but when the work becomes so in-house, there’s no inspiration. Those people—the costumers, etc—don’t feel like they can say anything, so there’s no artistic exchange going on. It’s important for artists to be able to pick their own collaborators. You need to work with people you have an interest in working with and those who will inspire you.
    Class Act:  I’m really glad that your whole basis is about the process. It’s nice to see there are people like you who choose to develop as a dancer, and create a work of art rather than just a performance.
    Olivier:  You know, what happening a lot in ballet is that we’re settling. Yeah, it looks pretty and someone can produce it really fast. But imagine if that person could’ve spent another three weeks or a month or two on it, and could’ve worked with those other people gathering more ideas. Ballet to me is starting to look a little like a museum piece where you see the same things over and over. We need to keep ballet alive. I love all the pieces but if that’s all you’re giving, people are going to get bored with that. You need to push the artists, push the envelope. Discover new ways of connecting to the audience; discover new ways of doing ballet.
    Class Act:  I agree 100%. Years ago the character development was very different from what it is now. Dancers had to convey their character through every inch of their body. It wasn’t just “Here are your steps”. You had to make your character breathe through every inch of your being.
    Olivier:  That’s not what’s happening anymore. Once you know your steps, you get a show. I remember when I first started 20 years ago in Canada, I was coached my first time in Giselle. And I don’t know how many hours I spent in the studio just learning how to walk! You know, this ballerina from Russia was making me cry because I couldn’t do it right. I didn’t know how to walk on stage! And none of that is taught anymore; everything is just kind of taken for granted.
    When creating Whim W’him, I chose that name because I didn’t want it to be all about me. Like the Olivier Wevers project or company. I didn’t want that. I’m interested in bringing in different choreographers to work with these dancers of different backgrounds in the future. Therefore, I need to do more fundraising so I can start doing that. I want this to become a really collaborative and versatile company.

    Check back soon to read our forth and final segment where Olivier reveals some of the exciting upcoming reps from Whim W’him, the dancers who inspire him most, and his advice for budding artistic directors!

    Read more about Whim’Whim’s Performances January 15-17

    Tickets are SOLD OUT for this event but there will be a wait list each day starting at noon on Friday, and 3PM on Saturday and Sunday!  On the Boards box office 206.217.9888


  • Whim W'Him Part Two

    Interview: Olivier Wevers

    Part One of our exciting interview with Olivier Wevers detailed the purpose and mission behind his exciting new company, Whim W’him. Now in Part Two, Mr. Wevers speaks openly about the many changes that have occurred—both professionally and personally—since the birth of Whim W’him….

    Kaori Nakamura, WhimW'Him

    Kaori

    Class Act: How has your life changed since your company’s inception—as a dancer, as a choreographer, an artist and as a person?

    Olivier: (Gasping)  Oh my god—it’s totally changed!  I mean—(laughs)–I have no more days off.  That’s just being busy.  You know, every day off that I have, I’m trying to schedule a meeting or I’m working on the computer.  Usually my life before—the focus was really on being a dancer, which was really kind of selfish, because it was really just about the work I was doing.  So, I would wake up in the morning, get ready to dance, and when I was done dancing I could relax and do what I wanted, and I had days off that I would enjoy.
    Then I started choreographing and doing commissions for other places, and started having to run around town.  So, the last few years when I was choreographing, for Spectrum for example, I would rehearse at PNB until 3 and I would make sure to schedule a rehearsal for 3:30 at Spectrum—which would give me just enough time to get there—so I’d usually be eating in the car on the way there.
    Now on top of that, I’m also running this company, trying to do fundraising, scheduling–I mean everything.  I’ve been doing absolutely everything and it’s been crazy!
    Class Act: And yet, would you change anything about it? Would you go back to the way it was?

    Olivier: Well you know, it’s interesting because there are moments when I’m like, “What am I doing?  Why couldn’t I just live the way I was living, and just have time to relax, breathe, and not have so many responsibilities?”   I mean, there are huge responsibilities that come along with all of that, and then there’s the pressure.  I mean, there have been days where I just wake up and I don’t know where to start.   I don’t want to do anything and I’m like, “Can I just—go shopping?” He laughs.

    Class Act: (Laughing) But no, you can’t!
    Olivier: Right! So like, I’ve been asking my friends, “Is this “depression” or is this “overwhelmed” where I wake up and I just want to go back to sleep?
    Class Act: Oh, I’d like to say it’s the latter. But that makes sense. We all get so used to a certain way of life. Then one day we decide to turn everything upside down, shake it, then stand back and ask ourselves, “Now what?”

    Lucien Postlewaite, WhimW'Him

    Lucien

    Olivier: Right!  Exactly!   Also what has changed is that I don’t get my 8 hours of sleep anymore. Which I really loved to get when I was just a dancer; I really needed 8 hours of sleep!  That has come down a lot. Now, I wake up an hour and half earlier, and for more than an hour, I’m sending email and working on the computer.
    Then I take my class; usually after class I have phone calls to make or emails that I have to check.  Then when I have a full day at PNB, usually all I have time to do at night is come back here and finish my work and try to do it on my days off.  When I don’t have too much rehearsal at PNB, usually I’m rehearsing for the show that’s coming up in January, or doing my fundraising, or contacting presenters for future touring, or scheduling rehearsals.
    Recently we had this big fundraiser.  I had a volunteer who did so much work for me, which was great. But after that, I had to write more than 50 cards thanking the donors.  So there’s always work to be done. Constantly people that need to be talked to—lighting designers, composers, dealing with the costumes—I mean, it’s every aspect that I’m working on.  So usually, throughout the day, I don’t stop.
    Vala: It doesn’t sound like it! It sounds like you’re running around like crazy.
    Olivier: Yeah, it’s constant but it’s really exciting, too.  Actually, last night I went and saw a movie.  I mean—I just had to get out for a little bit.  So I started watching the movie, and then I realized—for like a minute—that I wasn’t even watching the movie.  Instead I was thinking about all the things I had to do!  And I was like, what am I doing?  I came here to escape!  So, I told myself just escape and I’ll deal with this in two hours, he laughs.
    Vala: Oh goodness! So were you able to successfully turn your brain off after that?

    Olivier: I was, I was. But only after I caught myself looking at the screen thinking, I don’t know what’s going on! I’m busy thinking about things I have to be thinking about.”

    Coming up in our third installment, Olivier reveals the unique qualities that not only set Whim W’him apart, but also breathe new life into the global (and local) dance community!  Check back soon to read all about it!

    Mark your calendars for the premier of 3 Seasons January 15-17, 2010 at On the Boards.

    By Denise Opper

    Media Relations: Vala Dancewear/Class Act Tutu

  • Whim W'Him! Part One

    Interview: Olivier Wevers

    Olivier Wevers is the embodiment of a classically trained artist. As a Principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Olivier has left his own indelible mark of perfection upon each role he’s portrayed. He is not only a seasoned artist, but a prolific and highly acclaimed choreographer, receiving numerous awards and accolades for his impressive work and unique style.

    Earlier this year, Olivier embarked on an exciting adventure of epic proportion. In collaboration with some of the most highly respected dancers from the Pacific Northwest, Olivier launched Whim W’him, a company designed to “provide a platform, centered around choreography and dance, for artists to explore their craft though innovation and collaboration.” (Quote Whim Whim.org)

    Recently, Mr. Wevers took time out of his hectic schedule to answer a few questions from Vala Dancewear’s media liaison, Denise Opper. In part one of our series, Mr. Wevers reveals the inspiration behind Whim W’him….

    Whim W'Him

    Whim

    Class Act: First of all, I want to thank you, Olivier, for taking the time to do this.  We all truly appreciate it.

    Olivier: Oh, absolutely.  I appreciate it as well.

    Class Act: Let’s begin by discussing the inspiration behind your new company.   What made you decide to go ahead and branch out on your own?

    Olivier: Well, I have been choreographing for  7-8 years and, over the last few years,  I have been getting a lot of commissions.  Which have all been really great, but I’ve also been getting frustrated with how it all works.  You know, you only get a certain amount of time with a certain amount of dancers; sometimes they even give you the dancers. Then usually there’s no budget, it’s always as cheap as you can make it happen, how much product you can produce, and it has to be successful.  The final product has to be successful; they’re not really interested in the process behind it.  It just has to be something that will be enjoyable for the audience.
    Also, when you make pieces on different companies like that, you have to kind of set it to their style and their certain “voice”.  So you have to watch what you do, and make sure it is really going to fit that company.  It’s all been great and I love creating new works, and love working on these kinds of projects, but I’ve been kind of frustrated in my own artistic development, and I wanted to kind of “explore” more.   You know, have more time to rehearse, have dancers that I really admire, and that are really going to push me.  Then I wanted to not have to tell anybody, since this is my company, why I’m doing this or that, you know?  And if I fail, I fail.   I’m the only one responsible. But then that only means that I’m going to have to work harder to get the audience to come back.  I don’t have to prove anything to anybody, and I don’t have to fit anybody’s voice.  I can really do what I want to do.

    Olivier Wevers, Artistic Director - Whim W'Him

    Olivier

    Class Act: That is an excellent reason and answer! You’re right; when you’re working for someone else you have to make it fit their style, their voice.  But sometimes you just don’t have enough time to really get to know their voice, and yet you still have to make that product happen—yesterday.

    Olivier: Right, absolutely! It happens so many times where I’m really crushed for time and I don’t have time to rehearse, so I finish it the day before the show, and they don’t have time to really sink their teeth in.  And it’s choreography that I don’t really get the chance to explore.  It’s like I just throw it at them, like—"there it is, you have it, go do it".    It’s been great that way but now I’m really looking forward to having more time to explore.   Actually with Whim W’him, there was a piece I choreographed in June.   I videotaped it and watched it;   I wasn’t happy with what I ended up with so I just scrapped it completely.  But, really, that’s only a luxury I can afford by running this company and doing this with the time that I have.

    Stay tuned for Part Two of our interview with Olivier Wevers where he candidly reveals how his life has changed since the birth of Whim W’him! You won’t want to miss it!

    If you are in the Pacific Northwest, you can see Whim W'Him at On the Boards for the premiere of 3Seasons, January 15-17, 2010 as part of the Northwest Series. 

    Get your tickets, they are selling fast!

    By Denise Opper

    Media Relations: Vala Dancewear/Class Act Tutu

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