Dance takes on contemporary issues in Whim W’Him’s ‘Winter ’23’

Each January for the past 13 years the contemporary dance troupe Whim W’Him has tempted Seattle audiences out of their post-holiday doldrums with a buffet of world premiere works. Typically it’s an opportunity to sample new dances by an array of global choreographers; this year’s program, “Winter ‘23,” is no exception.카지노사이트

The evening offers three dances that address contemporary issues. Although each showcases Whim W’Him’s seven talented dancers, the evening’s highlight is the program closer, “Yemaya’s Embrace,” created by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, an award-winning Colombian-Belgian choreographer who has worked with Whim W’Him on a regular basis since the company’s inception.

“Yemaya’s Embrace” is set to a recording of a poem by Eduardo Vilaro; the words have been manipulated and skillfully mixed with music by composer Jimmy Garver. This audio provides the soundtrack to the choreographer’s tender response to the ongoing flood of human migrants fleeing war, climate change, and other global crises.

The curtain rises on seven bodies lying prone on the floor amid what look like shiny black trench coats, draped on headless display mannequins. Slowly, to the sound of gently undulating waves, the bodies begin to roll from side to side, like jetsam washing onshore.

Almost imperceptibly, a steady beat emerges from the waves, propelling the dancers to their feet. They don the trench coats (still on their display racks), then move around the stage, in unison but distanced from one another. As the pulsating rhythm takes over the soundtrack, the dancers discard the coats and merge together, a group of people desperate to emerge safely from the ocean onto dry land. They never find refuge; Lopez Ochoa repeatedly sends these seekers back to the relentless push and pull of the tides, visible to us through the wavelike movements of their bodies. Lopez Ochoa’s haunting and sensitive choreography is enhanced by Mark Zappone’s deep red costumes and Michael Mazzola’s lighting design.바카라사이트

“Yemaya’s Embrace” addresses a pressing contemporary issue with subtlety, displaying this choreographer’s mastery of her craft. Viewers can’t help but think about the many people around the world who exist in homeless limbo.

While Lopez Ochoa’s dance drew the audience to its feet on opening night, the two other works on the bill also have merit.

Whim W’Him artistic director Olivier Wevers’ new work, “A Lavender Touch,” opens the evening. Like Lopez Ochoa, Wevers tackles a social issue: homophobia and ongoing anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment in this country. The dance’s title refers to the so-called Lavender Scare of the 1950s. Also like Lopez Ochoa, Wevers integrates text into his sound design; in this case, excerpts of writings by a number of gay rights activists.

While the text provides needed context for Wevers’ abstract choreography, at times the audio volume of the readings overwhelms the series of emotional duets and solos that comprise the majority of this dance. And it illustrates one of the big challenges facing any artist who wants to address a topical subject: how to make a point without hitting it so hard the artistry is obscured.

The least political dance on the program is New York-based choreographer Mike Esperanza’s “primetime,” inspired by his childhood television viewing. It features Jane Cracovaner and Andy McShea, dressed in brightly colored street clothes, alongside the five other company dancers, clad in white. Perhaps Cracovaner and McShea are stand-ins for TV viewers, while the others are television characters?

The real-life duo often seem at odds with one another, their movements confrontative and spiky. That’s in contrast to the “virtual” characters, who mirror Cracovaner and McShea’s movements, but in a smoother, less emotional way. Esperanza has created some intriguing imagery, the first step in what could be a deeper exploration of our digital world.

Taken as a whole, Whim W’Him’s “Winter ‘23” reflects artistic director Wevers’ long commitment to commissioning and presenting engaging contemporary works. These three dances, performed by the company’s high caliber dancers, make “Winter ‘23” a needed artistic boost to the new year.온라인카지노

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