Body Language People

John-William Watson Revels in Absurdity

In collaboration with

John-William Watson wears a shirt by Acne Studios, kilt by Molly Goddard, and shoes by Kenzo.

John-William Watson, 24, is no stranger to the surreal. With their subversive takes on everyday movements, the self-described “dance theater maker” merges existential themes with the granular intimacy of human connection. They are also a Young Associate Choreographer at Sadler’s Wells, a Northern Connection Artist of 2021/22, and the co-founder of Another Collective, a Belgium-based dance theater group.

Choreography means world-building for me. It means storytelling. It means creating a universe, establishing its rules and boundaries and then messing with the parameters. It’s an opportunity to constantly exercise the what-ifs that I come across in my life. My practice is rooted heavily in surrealism and the absurd. We’re constantly met with things that don’t make sense, decisions that people make, events that occur around us, déjà vu, and creepy coincidences. Ultimately, I think there’s something truly silly but also very profound in mundane situations and everyday encounters. My work sits on the borderline of the most bland, ordinary scenarios and the big ole questions that keep us up at night, like trying to imagine what’s beyond the universe’s current point of expansion, whilst waiting for your dog to nip one off in the park. As someone who identifies as non-binary, the contemporary landscape can be incredibly refreshing. Gender roles are so incredibly unimportant to me. My work attempts to bring elements of the human condition and consciousness to light—things we all share."

All Skincare by Dr. Barbara Sturm.
Makeup by Anna Payn
Hair by Eliot McQueen
Nails by Christie Huseyin
Set Design by Sam Pidgen
Produced by The Curated
Dop Max Montgomery
Digi Op Nina Close
Lighting Direction by Ross Zillwood
Fashion Assistance by Tom Grimsdell and Tamsin Michael
Makeup Assistance by Tamsin Bilingall
Set Assistance by Kaush Odedra and Haleimah Darwish
Location Drop Studios