James Wilton Dance at The Riley Theatre reviewed by Liv Fallon (1st Year)

Friday, 15th May, The Riley Theatre, Leeds as part of National Connections

James Wilton Dance: Last Man Standing

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Bringing together the unusual match of rock music and contemporary dance, James Wilton amazed us with a high-energy piece. The movement (combining capoeira, break dancing and martial arts) was a good match for the dramatic sound score and was physical, complex and explosive: simultaneously interesting to watch and too much to take in.

The lighting and smoke set an intense atmosphere which was maintained throughout the piece. Beginning with a simple backlight silhouetting the dancers which came up and down throughout. The hectic structure of choreography in the first half of the show was juxtaposed with a slow and gentle start to the second half, which was the more narrative section.

The dancers (including one NSCD graduate) immediately revealed themselves as skilled athletes with brilliant control. The strength, grace and the commitment to the shared experience was mesmerising, making even the most difficult acrobatic flips appear natural. James Wilton proved to be a talented dancer as well as choreographer and was himself, the last man standing. It did not feel like they created much of a connection with the audience but we were unable to look away despite this, feeling that in a blink a section of exhilarating movement would be missed.The contact work particularly stood out as impressively seamless and meticulously rehearsed. The fluid and fast paced lifts showed the dancers completely trusted one another and had the confidence to be reckless in a way that kept the audience on the edge of our seats.

impressively seamless and meticulously rehearsed. The fluid and fast paced lifts showed the dancers completely trusted one another and had the confidence to be reckless in a way that kept the audience on the edge of our seats.

Liv Fallon.

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