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DanceEast hosts world premiere for James Wilton’s high energy Storm

PUBLISHED: 16:29 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:29 20 September 2018

Scene from James Wilton's latest high energy work The Storm which compares mental health issues with the weather Photo: Steve Tanner

Scene from James Wilton's latest high energy work The Storm which compares mental health issues with the weather Photo: Steve Tanner

Steve Tanner 2018

Contemporary dance choreographer James Wilton is renowned for his athletic dance works now DanceEast is staging the premiere of his latest performance The Storm. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to him about mixing spectacle with food for thought

Scene from James Wilton's latest high energy work The Storm which compares mental health issues with the weather Photo: Steve TannerScene from James Wilton's latest high energy work The Storm which compares mental health issues with the weather Photo: Steve Tanner

James Wilton’s latest work, The Storm, is a whirlwind of lightning fast, hyper athletic movement, where acrobatics, break-dancing and martial arts fuse. It’s a high energy work which attempts to shine a light on society’s struggles with mental health.

James, who has an ongoing relationship with DanceEast, he premiered Leviathan on the Ipswich Waterfront in 2016, said that his intention is to create a narrative that not only moves audiences emotionally but challenges them to consider all aspects of our actions and psychologies.

Inspired by a personal ‘term of relative unhappiness’, choreographer James Wilton explores the many parallels between weather and psychology. Likening the world to a storm, the piece builds to become something too powerful to fathom. The seven dancers are elevated into the air then dropped to the floor with what appears to be unstoppable velocity. James Wilton uses the storm as a metaphor for the weather and 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.

“A low becomes a depression, a depression becomes a storm. When you’re unhappy people say “it will all blow over”.

James Wilton, whose latest work The Storm premieres at DanceEast Photo: Steve TannerJames Wilton, whose latest work The Storm premieres at DanceEast Photo: Steve Tanner

“One area I was anxious to explore is the notion that there is a calm before the storm, but, equally, is there one afterwards?”

Although the piece tackles some big issues, James says he hopes that audiences will find it fun and engaging. The piece has been developed to utilise the skills of the seven dancers in the company and will feature Wilton’s unique blend of break dance, acrobatics, martial arts and capoeira.

James Wilton is quickly becoming known as one of the UK’s leading choreographers, renowned for creating breathtakingly physical choreography. Spectacle is part of the dynamic visual presentation which helps Wilton communicate ideas to audiences. At times it looks as if the dancers are defying gravity.

As part of the creation James and the company are collaborating with Dr. David Belin, lecturer in behavioural Neuro-Science at Cambridge University.

In addition to the two-night run at the Jerwood DanceHouse in Ipswich, James Wilton Company will also be holding a workshop for boys, aged 10-16, at DanceEast on Saturday September 29.

The Storm will be performed at The Jerwood DanceHouse on Ipswich Waterfront on September 28-29. Tickets from £12. Workshop for boys, on September 29, 2-3.30pm, tickets £12. Box Office: 01473 295230

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