“contest/contest” is a dance piece that was born out of a search for truth in a world that contradicts reality.  In 2024, public events are accessible in two ways.  One can either witness something firsthand or interact with the spectre of the internet that looms over everything. To create this piece, Joseph Hernandez, Barret Anspach, and the dancers of Whim W’him decided to lean into this dynamic. They asked themselves: “What are we doing today and how will this be perceived by the outside world? What has been done and what remains from those actions? What are actions that we can partake in that can change the course of history and bend these events toward a future that we would prefer?  What does it mean, as in the words of the poet Jennifer Michael Hecht, to "open the field of possibility and avoid rushing it closed”? The piece scrolls from idea to idea and invites the audience to make associations between their expectations and their present experience; joyously shifting between the absurd and the prescient, the rigorous and the maniacal.

Choreography: Joseph Hernandez and the Dancers of Whim W'Him Seattle Contemporary Dance 

Music: Barret Anspach and Joseph Hernandez 

Text: Joseph Hernandez, Michael Arellano, Maggie Nelson

Using Format