Q&A: James Wilton
Interview with multi-award winning choreographer James Wilton.
James is the Founder and Artistic Director of James Wilton Dance. The company will be bringing Leviathan to Winchester for our autumn season 2018.
Q: How did you get started in dance, and at what age?
A: I started to dance at 15, I chose it as an option for my GCSEs. Things really started to move when I joined Cornwall Youth Dance Company and then I decided I wanted to pursue it as a career.
Q: You trained as a dancer, what makes you want to choreograph as opposed to performing other people’s work?
A: Even when I started at 15, I was interested in choreography more than just performing. I love the challenge of taking an idea that starts as just a seed of a thought and growing it in to a piece of art.
I think what I prefer about choreography is that you start right at the genesis of the idea and see it through until the end whereas dancers usually come on board later on in the process.
Q: Your work often includes a particular style of music. What draws you to that?
A: I have to work to music that I connect with on a deeper level. I have listened to alternative/progressive rock all my life and have a strong connection with it. With that said I listen to a really broad range of music, from classical to folk to German industrial music.
Q: When recruiting dancers, what skills or style do you look for?
A: I think ability to use the floor and partner-work skills are essential as well as an ability to be really clear with movement and intention. I think dancers I work with also have a desire to get underneath the skin of the movement and feel the intention of the movement.
Q: What approach do you take when making work? What point do you start from?
A: I always begin from a philosophical or political starting point. From there I like to work quite independently in growing the idea in to the finished product.
I always have a physical goal I want to achieve but don’t always know exactly what it should look like. I think that is where the dancers come in, in helping me realise exactly how it should look and what the work should “feel” like.
Featuring a cast of six, Wilton’s trademark blend of athletic dance, martial arts, capoeira and partner-work will have you on the edge of your seat.