Dance The Theatre


James Wilton Dance, one of Europe’s most in demand dance companies, present The Storm, a whirlwind of lightning fast, athleticism, where acrobatics, break-dancing, martial arts and contact work fuse to form dance that will blow audiences away. Seven dancers, 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. In this storm can you find peace? Can you find the calm eye of the storm? Will it all blow over?

James Wilton Q&A


James Wilton Dance, one of Europe’s most in-demand dance companies, will make sure sparks fly on Bonfire Night when they bring The Storm, a breathtaking fusion of acrobatics, martial arts, breakdancing and contact work, to Lighthouse on Tuesday 5 November.

A whirlwind of lightning fast, super athletic movement that will blow audiences away, seven dancers of extraordinary skill are driven by a soundtrack of thundering electro-rock specially composed by Polish alt rock music project Amarok in an extraordinary performance that also features thousands of pieces of paper.  

James Wilton is quickly becoming one of the UK’s leading choreographers, renowned for creating breathtakingly physical pieces such as the critically lauded LEVIATHAN. Ahead of his company’s first visit to Lighthouse, he fielded a few of our questions.

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. 

Finally, what can audiences expect?

In short-to be blown away by the physicality, the storytelling and the raw emotion of the dance, set, music and light. We want audiences to feel the piece, as well as see it.

Ticket Information

{{group | date:'EEEE'}} {{group | dateSuffix}} {{group | date:'MMMM'}}

Add to calendar {{instance.startDate | date:'dd/MM/yyyy'}} {{instance.startHour}}:{{instance.startMinute}} {{instance.startDate | date:'dd/MM/yyyy'}} {{instance.endHour}}:{{instance.endMinute}} Europe/London {{instance.eventName}} Poole's Centre For The Arts 21 Kingland Road Poole Dorset BH15 1UG DD/MM/YYYY

School holiday


Audio described


School performance

Peak performance

Off Peak performance

Preview performance

Standard performance

Suitable for schools

Sold out

To join the waiting list

please call us on 01202 280000

Please contact the Ticket Office on 01202 280000