Leviathan is at The Welfare in Ystradgynlais on Wednesday 8th May and Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli on Friday 10th May.
Everyone knows the story of Moby Dick, right? The story of Ahab, the ship’s captain hell-bent on capturing the white whale? Well think again. This Spring, multi-award-winning choreographer James Wilton’s Leviathan, based on Herman Melville’s seminal novel, heads to Wales. A Moby Dick for the 21st Century; the piece is described as a pulse-racing epic with energy thumping through its veins.
Featuring a cast of 6, Wilton’s trademark blend of athletic dance, martial arts, capoeira and partner-work, LEVIATHAN aims to have audiences on the edge of their seats.
Moby Dick is a beast as vast and dangerous as the sea itself, yet serene and beautiful beyond all imagining. Ahab’s crew are drawn into the unhinged charisma of their captain, blindly
following him on his perilous adventure towards almost certain destruction. The story is told through the sheer ferocity of the dancers’ movements, all accompanied by a powerful electro-rock soundtrack. Described as more physical and more dramatic than anything the company has attempted before; LEVIATHAN is man versus nature.
Choreographer Wilton said:
“I’ve always had a fascination with the relationship between man and nature. What interests me most is the way that we fear each other before we fear nature. We worry about other people and the dangers they can do more than we fear the awesome power of the planet.
It also interests me that we believe our power is significant. We marvel at our creation of nuclear weaponry and think that is true power. Despite this, the 2005 Tsunami carried the force of over 1,500 nuclear weapons proving that our significance on this planet is minimal compared with the force of nature.
For me, Moby Dick represents someone trying, and ultimately failing to conquer nature. The futility of the pursuit, combined with the maniacal obsession of Ahab make for a compelling story and one I am eager to re-create and re-imagine.
As an artist, I am not interested in small concepts. So far in my career, I have dealt with the nature of life and death (Last Man Standing), our perceptions of reality (Cave), and the concept of morality (Rite of Spring). LEVIATHAN, exploring nature and destiny, continues in this vein of big concepts and so offers me, huge amounts of intrigue and inspiration”.
James founded James Wilton Dance after graduating from London Contemporary Dance School in 2009. Since then, James’ work has toured to South Korea, China, the USA, Dubai,
India, Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Malta, Italy, Spain, France, Sweden and Denmark and has also won awards at the Hannover, Bern and Masdanza Choreography competitions, as well as the Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest.
James’ most recent company work Last Man Standing toured to over 60 venues since its creation in 2014 and has been seen by over 15,000 people.
In 2013 James was commissioned to choreograph a work for 50 professional dancers for performance at the opening and semi-final ceremonies of the Rugby League World Cup at The Millennium Stadium and at Wembley Stadium. The work was seen by over 110,000 people.
As well as his works for his own company James has created works for Scottish Dance Theatre, Opera Graz, Ballett Hagen, Tanz Compagnie Giessen, Verve, EDge and many other University and postgraduate performance groups.
In 2013 James choreographed ' The Rite of Spring' for Oper Graz for the 100 year celebrations of the work, resulting in 10 performances will a full orchestra. James was a recipient of a BBC Performing Arts Fellowship award in partnership with Swindon Dance. James Wilton Dance is an associate company at The Hall for Cornwall Theatre, Truro.
The company will perform Moby Dick to Welsh audiences as part of Dance Across Wales/Dawns Draws Cymru. This is a Creu Cymru initiative funded by Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government and the National Lottery that will see venues in towns across Wales presenting performances by some of the UK’s best upcoming dance companies. Theatres involved include The Welfare in Ystradgynlais, The Park and Dare in Treorchy, Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli, Ammanford Miners Theatre, Canolfan Ucheldre in Holyhead and Theatr Colwyn in Colwyn Bay.
Creu Cymru is the development agency for theatres and arts centres in Wales. Creu Cymru is working with the National Touring Forum (NRTF) on this project to enable the six theatres in Wales who currently programme little or no dance, to present performances from established artists and companies which have been re-choreographed for small-scale presentation.
The project has already seen Uchenna Dance perform an exciting, urban dance adaptation of Hansel and Gretel at Ammanford Miners’ Theatre and more productions will be announced soon for performances taking place in the autumn.
Leviathan is at The Welfare in Ystradgynlais on Wednesday 8th May and Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli on Friday 10th May. Tickets for Leviathan are available now from the venue box offices and websites.