Lore – James Wilton Dance

Lore – James Wilton Dance

DanceEast February 3rd 2023

True to its title Lore is rich in symbolism and references to folklore. It is a work about the world of ancient gods in the mists of time and the humans that have interacted with these gods. It tells the stories of worship and sacrifice; of birth, rebirth and death; of the power of the natural world, its seas and woods and plains. There are multiple references to death and the afterlife (Anubus the jackal) to fertility and rebirth (horned gods, the Phoenix, Lotus flowers) the circles of life and wisdom of lore (the Mandala) and eternal life and energy (the Tree of Life). To name just a few.

The stage set is strikingly beautiful with each placement of objects carefully considered. The wooden steppingstones, some white twigs, the hanging totems of white wood vertebrae, all serve to add another layer to the work. These layers and intricate patterns are then reconfigured in the choreography, the music and the costumes of the two dancers: James Wilton and Sarah Jane Taylor.

The couple who are exquisitely matched and seem able to intuit each other’s moves breathe as one. They are partners in real life and the tenderness and connection between them is visceral on the stage. Seamlessly they thread and weave a story and just as seamlessly they unravel it and the audience is left mesmerised; drawn in and then cast out. The language of their bodies is mesmerising, unfaltering and effortless. They are animal and spirit; wind and water; human and divine.

This is a work that will resonate in my mind for some time to come, thought provoking and quite unforgettable.

By Anna Mortimer