"Wilkie Branson: TOM review – a sublime, slow-burn study of isolation
Part dance performance, part film, this solo show is a note-perfect portrayal of the all-consuming nature of loneliness"
Outstanding Production Award
2019 Theatre and Technology Awards
Innovation in Dance Award
2020 One Dance UK
Best Art/Experimental Film
2020 San Francisco Dance Film Festival
"An innovative production combining choreography with digital animation" THE LIVE REVIEW
Set in a hinterland between the civilised world and the wilderness, TOM tells the story of one man’s journey to rediscover who he really is. Will he find the answers he needs, or is the real TOM lost forever?
Created by award-winning choreographer, film-maker and Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Artist Wilkie Branson. TOM explores storytelling using the hip hop language of b-boying, bringing it together with cutting-edge technologies including animation, projection mapping, sound design and film installation. Playing with negative space and the projection of the work to create a depth of field, TOM is a unique and innovative dance for camera installation.
TOM’s physical installation is made of 3 pepper scrim holographic gauzes, onto which the film is projection mapped, giving a layered, almost pop-up effect, to view the film.
“a really exciting piece of interdisciplinary work that melds film, dance and music in a mesmeric and moving work…The dance…is beautiful and emotive, and it’s a context in which we do not usually see breakdance which makes for a really interesting effect. .. I wanted more of it”.
The show is suitable for all audiences with an age guidance of 14+ owing to some short moments of violence, and adult themes of depression and self harm.
The show includes a Front of House exhibition that gives greater insight into Wilkie’s process.
Commissioned and co-produced by Sadler’s Wells.Co-Produced by Pavilion Dance South West.
Research & Development supported by Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Programme.
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through the Arts Council England.
Creation & Process
Over 80% of Tom was created using hand made models which were digitized using photogrammetry. It took 9 months to built over 100 models that were used to create the environments in the film. The photogrammetry process took a year to complete with a a quarter of a million photographs being used to reconstruct the models digitally.
All the performers in the film were shot on a homemade green screen stage in the garage, using a treadmill and revolve to match the perspective of camera moves from the film. There are over 400 different versions of Wilkie in the film who is joined by his 3 year old nephew, Eben, to complete the cast.
The project was completed using Cinema 4D and Redshift, taking 4 months to render bringing the total duration of the project to 2 years. With the full-length film running at 50 minutes the the project took approximately 130 man-hours per minute to make.
“Benji Bower’s compositions in tandem with Mat Clark’s sound design is truly stunning…
This is a score curated with the utmost skill…“ SPYINTHESTALLS
What Is TOM
TOM is a 60 minute animated dance work which is presented on 3 holographic gauzes. Creating a floating multidimensional experiences which hangs in the space.
Bringing together cutting edge technology to render the handcrafted 3D world physically in space TOM is an experience that borrows from cinema, immersive technologies and traditional physical animation to create a world which is like no other.
Wilkie Branson is an interdisciplinary dance artist and film maker. Self taught in both dance and film, which form the main focus of his work, the roots of his practice lie in BBoying. Wilkie’s dance style has developed into a unique fusion, with expression, accessibility and integrity at it’s heart. He received the arts Foundation Chroeogrraphic Fellowship in 2012 and was most recently the recipient of several awards for his latest dance animation Little Dreams. Wilkie is a New Wave Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells and a Playtime Artist at PDSW.
His previous shows at Sadler’s Wells include Varmints, White Caps and Boing! which is about to return to China for the second time after a Christmas run in New York.