A Mighty Wind, Jeroen Verbruggen, NDCWales

November 5, 2015 by

We wanted to create something that would complement the National Dance Company Wales programme. The energy of the dancers was just asking for something heavier, and we felt that they would lend themselves well to rock music. I wasn’t really sure if Wales has windy days, I know for sure it has rainy days, but when I arrived here and saw the location near the water I was feeling that this piece could really fit in with Wales and the UK. I also found out that Wales has this alternative ‘rocky’ culture, so it felt even clearer for me that we should go for a rocky mighty wind.


A Mighty Wind the title is a metaphor for something bigger than ourselves. So the piece could be more about like letting go of something or battling against something greater than ourselves. It’s purely symbolic and also poetic. The way I work is that I use a lot of images. I create a frame of images for me which I need to prepare before and to research (not sure how to fix this but it doesn’t make any sense). I read about things, like how and why music would be connected to this piece. It’s all detailed information for me only that I do not need to share with the world, but it’s important that it make sense for me, the choreographer. Then with those set frames whatever goes in there is completely open and happens in the moment. I tried not to come here too prepared as I wanted to work together. Although I did have an idea of what I wanted within those frames, it was still open and it evolved too.


Now the piece has now come together and I feel that there are five sections. So the opening of A Mighty Wind is very energetic, abstract and acrobat lifts;  very soon it then goes more into poetry, little stories and situations between the dancers. There’s a little aggressive section which goes from duos to trios; then a kind of a wavy section which feels like the ocean or sea and then whole a microphone section. The microphone section was inspired by our rock icons such as Iggy Pop, Amy Winehouse, we feel it’s like little tributes to people they like and I liked.


The process of creating A Mighty Wind was really rewarding. I was really impressed with the dancers, their will and their energy. It’s a beautiful thing for a choreographer to see dancers enjoying what you are doing and having a great time. They also gave me a lot of inspiration and we didn’t get stuck. It’s a really nice equal exchange between artists. I am used to working with more classical companies as a young choreographer and I was really excited to see how I could work with a more contemporary dance company as they are real movers. Yes, this company can really move!

Overall I wanted to give a modern rock feeling as a style of the piece. I want the public to enjoy it, even if they don’t necessarily understand everything; I want them to be touched by it. I want them to go with the music and have a good time as if they’re watching a concert.


A Mighty Wind  is being performed alongside NDCWales repertoire of Walking Mad and Tuplet, which toured across Wales and the UK earlier this year.

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