Marcus Jarrell Willis: Knock-On choreographer Ballet Cymru 2 

February 27, 2020 by

Knock-On, a new choreographic creation for Ballet Cymru 2 (Pre-Professional Programme), draws inspiration from the term Knock-On Effect, which is defined as something that results inevitably but indirectly from another event or circumstance. Patterns in everyday life reflect this on levels that range from great to small in their extremities. Contrary to an event that is a result of cause and effect, where results are directly in connection to the instigators, the creation of Knock-On offers a display of the conscious and unconscious connections we encounter, which compel and propel the flow of humanity. The micro shifts employed upon us inform our existence.


When we take a glance into our world’s history, we can see the exhibition of the Knock-On Effect. Everything from historical events to current trends, informs movement amongst the human race. I wanted to create a work that not only speaks to our connectivity, but also the lack thereof. There is a sensible connection that may be illusive to the naked eye, however the magnetism between humankind cannot be denied, nor overlooked.

The creation’s movement vocabulary is structured utilizing my knowledge and experience of the codified dance techniques, classical ballet and modern dance as its platform. Furthermore, there is an emphasis on the exploration of the development of my choreographic voice, consisting of both gestural and contemporary language. Knock-On comprises of four movements, with music composed by Bang on a Can All-Stars, Paula Matthuusen, Richard Reed, Aphex Twin and Rook1e.



As a creator, I am deeply influenced by the space I am offered and the various levels of talent and energies that inhabit its creative atmosphere. I developed and structured this new work, with concept in mind, according to observations of the dancers. How they relate to one another, as well as how they do not, posing the questions of why and why not. What immediate observations in the brief, but significant period of time for creative process could influence the crafting of the work? We are all human beings and with this comes a variety of multi-faceted temperaments. However, it is often our initial choice to compress the most natural instincts in relation to others. What happens when we acknowledge these feelings and allow ourselves to recognize their presence?

This has been my journey as the sculptor of this craft. Subsequently, Knock-On takes direction from its namesake. Word play has been utilized to present another layer to the work, with a different angle. Just as the clock strikes midnight without deviation or disruption, as does the ebb and flow of life. Ultimately, without hesitation, forward movement lends itself to life as we know it. Through the insightful moments of connectivity, with and without intention, the objective of the work is a reminder to both the dancers and the audiences that we will continue to “Knock-On”.


Riverfront Newport, March 31

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