We have just returned from the theatre. The institution has confirmed, yet again, that it is the town’s cultural hub, and I have never seen anything quite like what I saw tonight, even though I have been waiting for a while to see something like what I saw.

So, I am still determining whether I am fanboying over what I saw tonight or I am fanboying over the idea of what I saw tonight. See, we saw a contemporary dance performance by James Wilton Dance called Lore” – Lore is a work inspired by the Celtic creation myth; Lore is influenced by Celtic, Slavic and Viking mythology and folklore. Hundreds of myths and shamanic practices from across Europe were referenced in the research for this dance production.

The work is not a direct interpretation of a single myth; instead, themes and ideas from many cultures have been absorbed into the work, re-imagined and presented afresh.

I appreciate there are better people to comment on Contemporary Dance, critics and the like. I am merely offering my own point of view in a blizzard of online opinions. Will this find the right ears? Well; if you have ears (and working eyes), please go and see the production Lore.

What got me was that in my mind, I am still 15.5 years old – to tell myself I would get so much from a dance performance back then would beggar belief. But I am now 42 years old, and I was spellbound by the performers, Sarah Jane Taylor and James Wilton.

The sheer athleticism of these two performers, working together in tandem to create a living, moving poetry, defied belief – I was mesmerised from the start.

I managed to guess some of the narrative, having known a bit about creation myths from reading Anthropology at an amateur level – one of the chaps me and Kathryn attended tonight with claimed to struggle with the narrative; I interjected that it could be part of the joy of having dance tell a story is that it is so open-ended. But, this performance struck a chord with me.

I wish I was more qualified to go into the artistic merit a bit better; what I can say is that it appeared to be a flawless performance to this uneducated onlooker. More of this, please, Harrogate Theatre. More of this, please, James Wilton Dance.

To put a fine point on it, I have a background as a Lad; but, I now like contemporary dance – this is a bizarre juxtaposition and one that could take a lot of getting used to. I was interested in the idea of contemporary dance before walking to the theatre tonight, but I came away from the theatre as a fan of contemporary dance, specifically tonight’s performance. And, I feel I have greater respect for good choreography and Dancing as a profession as a result of seeing the production Lore tonight.

I loved it… it was spellbinding.


Andrew Backhouse is a Yorkshire-based artist working with time-based media and digital collage. He is a self-confessed radio geek and he hopes to share his wonder. He also wants to share his naivety and enthusiasm for finding something interesting. Henri Chopin, AGF, and RuPaul influence Andrew’s artistic enquiry. Documenting “The new shiny thing,” Andrew tries to share his excitement for it. But, he also asks about its authenticity and worth.

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