Dance Lifestyle

Balletboyz: A Review of Life

From From[/caption] Lets start at the beginning. Who are the Balletboyz? The original boys are duo Michael Nunn and William (Billy)  Trevitt, ex Royal Ballet stars who co-founded the company in early 2001. They toured world wide working with some of the best choreographers, dancers and designers in the business, and won plenty of awards while doing it along the way. They also made some of the most amazing dance films, often behind the scenes style documentaries, some of which where shown on British TV in particular Channel 4. In the 90′ and 00’s this duo really brought dance to the forefront of the everyday person before Strictly or any other similar tv programs. They’d also often include these short films in their performances to separate sections out or for just a chance for the audience to see behind the scenes of the piece and to give concepts and interesting meaning. When the two decided to retire from the stage themselves six years ago they took on the fascinating project of picking out and teaching just ten lads to dance. The project grew enormously to what we see today. A company of fine dancers. The originals have come and gone and in their place dancers just as talented. [caption id="attachment_7610" align="alignnone" width="1920"]From From[/caption] Their current touring performance Life is split into two acts with each individually choreographed and together billed as one performance. The first piece, Rabbit was created by Pontus Lidberg. It had a set designed with long separate sections of material draped across the stage in a semi-circle and inside this, a wooden swing hanging in the corner. Each dancer in attire that had a slight Victorian or school boy feel about it and all but one wore a huge rabbit head. This along with the Górecki score created a creepy yet light hearted almost comical feel to the piece at times. This is especially as the dancers navigate their entrances and exits under, through and around the material. That soon changed though as deeper themes of loneliness, isolation and group dynamics surface at an unsettling pace including physical duets and complicated group work. The highlight of this piece for me was the performance of the protagonist dancer as his delicate precision really added to his character. [caption id="attachment_7612" align="alignnone" width="653"]From From[/caption] The second piece, Fiction was choreographed by Javier De Frutos and centres around the theme of his own death which is said to have taken place in the interval from a fallen piece of scenery. In contrast to the first act Frutos’ piece had a more stripped down set, with just a ballet rehearsal bar in the centre and the dancers were dressed in what would be considered rehearsal gear. The piece began with the sound of critic Ismene Brown reading Javier’s obituary and was wrapped in black humour with the dancers imitating the themes talked about and almost mocking her at times while dancing to the pace and the syllables of her words. The movement, agile and physical was centred around the rehearsal bar in the middle of the stage and was occasionally broken up with emotions of grief, despair and tragedy akin to a shakespeare play while quickly moving on to more comedic moments backed with music by Ben Foskett. One of my favourite moments was right at the end where Marc Galvez cheekily dances solo to Donna Summer’s Lets Dance and it had the audience on their feet and loving it. Overall this was another thought-provoking piece from the Balletboyz, that left me feeling reflective and inspired, and keen to see where they could go next. Life is still on tour and is so until early next year and I urge you to go and see it. Go to to see when this show is on near you. You can also see the Balletboyz more on the 12th November on BBC 2 at 8.30pm as they star in their first full length dance film, Young Men. It too is set to be amazing and you’d be mad to miss it!  

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