Taliesin Live - James Wilton Dance - The Storm
James Wilton Dance
James Wilton Dance, one of Europe’s most in demand dance companies, present The Storm, a whirlwind of lightning fast, super athletic movement, where acrobatics, break-dancing, martial arts and edge of the seat contact work fuse to form dance that will blow audiences away.
Seven dancers of extraordinary skill, a soundtrack of thundering electro-rock specially composed by Amarok and thousands of pieces of paper combine to create a work that will astound you with its athleticism and touch you emotionally in a way that words simply can’t.
The Storm grows from a light breeze and becomes something too powerful to fathom. It scoops the dancers into the air then drops them to the floor with unrelenting velocity, transforms them into mini tornadoes and sends them spiralling out of control.
More than just weather, this storm is of the mind. You can’t see the wind but you can see how it changes objects. In the same way, you can’t see emotions, but you can see how they change people, how they knock them off their feet, then sweep them away. In this storm can you find peace? Can you find the calm eye of the storm?
“After the considerable success of LEVIATHAN ( 2016), a work based on Herman Melville’s Moby Dick which will see its 100th performance in 2018, I wanted to create not only my own dance work, but also my own story. I have always been fascinated by the inner workings of the human mind, in particular how we process and understand emotions, and wanted to create a narrative that not only moves audiences emotionally, but encourages viewers to consider our psychologies and behaviours from all angles.
Physically, I believe we have just scratched the surface of what my company are capable of. Our unique blend of martial arts, break dance, capoeira, acrobatics and dance is continually evolving, and The Storm will be the next step of this. It will be more physical, athletic and energised than anything we’ve previously created, but with more softness and texture than we have previously added.”
Running time – 1hr 12mins plus 20 minute interval
Friday 8 November 7.30pm
Prices and Times:
Fri 8th Nov
|Full price:||£ 14|
|Under 18's:||£ 12|
|Full time students:||£ 12|
|Other Conc.:||£ 12|
“The athletic style of James Wilton’s choreography is absolutely stunning and
mesmerises the audience” Victoria Chen, The Outlier, Scotland
“Full of thrilling precision and athletic finesse” Mary Brennan, The Herald
“Dance that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Athletic bodies taking fearless risks
with limitless adventurous choreography, defying gravity and any other restrictive
theory” Jo Turbitt, Across The Arts
“Choreographing to rock is characteristic of Wilton’s work, as is the finely-modulated
aggression of his choreography, which combines extreme but controlled physicality with
elements of capoeira, martial arts and intense trust and strength-reliant partnering,
which sees dancers hurtling through the air with impressive fearlessness and control”
Peter Jacobs thereviewshub.com
“A distinctive choreographer who really knows how to let the body tell a story”
Peter Jacobs, reviewshub
“James Wilton’s style is a breathtakingly physical combination of contemporary dance
and martial arts-inspired movement Georgina Wells ( British Theatre Guide)
One-handed cartwheels, flips, shoulder balances and swan dives from the wings
abound, but these feats of agility and strength aren’t just jaw-droppingly impressive—
they also aid the telling of the story” Georgina Wells ( British Theatre Guide)
“Extraordinary” The Stag
“Handsomely crafted, ambitious and exciting” The Times
Interview with James Wilton
What is The Storm about?
The Storm is essentially about how we process emotions and happiness. It occurred to me that there are many parallels between weather and psychology. For example the word tempestuous can mean either an overwhelming emotion, or a storm. Before a hurricane there is what is referred to as a depression. When people are sad others say “it will all blow over”. How you can’t see wind but can see how it changes objects and how you can’t see emotions but can see how they change people. I also likened the world to a storm. We are surrounded by this turbulent, challenging world, where danger, injustice and suffering are all around us. In this world how can we manage to remain happy? How can we not get swept up in the world around us and how can we be the quiet, calm eye of the storm.
When did you first have the idea?
I am a generally very happy person, and I’ve always wondered why. In 2016, shortly after creating LEVIATHAN, I had a term of relative unhappiness, where I was swept up into some of the problematic things around me. At this point it occurred to me how important, and how beautiful happiness is, and how the world would be a much better place if people understood emotions and complex psychology more deeply.
What will be different physically?
We’re going bigger, faster and more fierce than ever with The Storm, but we’re going to be contrasting that with more subtlety, texture and softness than ever as well. As well as the earthy physicality we usually bring to the table, there will also be a greater sense of line and shape. Of course, we’re not going to be going too classical, however we are adding some elements from those techniques in order to push our physicality somewhere new.
What does Dr. David Belin, lecturer in Behavioural Neuroscience at Cambridge University, add to the piece?
I wanted to make sure that the work had a foundation in genuine science. I think so often people think they understand psychology, however we really don’t. Dr. Belin is a world expert in his field, with over 50 peer reviewed publications, and has taught me a great deal about the human mind. The most interesting thing being about dysregulation, and how people attribute the wrong feelings to the wrong emotion.
What excites you about the music of Amarok the composer?
In 2017 Amarok, aka Michal Wojtwas, released an album called Hunt, which received many nominations for prog-rock album of the year. It was through a “top 30 of the year” list that I discovered his work and I’ve been hooked ever since. I used three tracks off of his album for my creation “Hold On” for Theater Münster, and once I saw how well the music gelled with my choreography, I knew that I had to get him to write something especially for The Storm. There is just so much power and depth in the music that Michal writes, and it is emotive in some indescribable, other-worldly way.