In recent years, dance as an entertaining art form has become increasingly more diverse and experimental. In 2001 when artistic directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt founded BalletBoyz, an all-male dance company, they quickly became known for their innovative work which helped to break the mould of classical ballet. Their TV documentaries grabbed fresh audiences and it seems only fitting that this current piece of physical theatre would open with a short ‘behind the scenes’ video to introduce the first piece.
The Murmuring, choreographed by Alexander Whitley, uses nature as key inspiration and this is clear to see from the moment the ten dancers flock to the stage, beautifully entwined and working with one another. Combined with a strong electronic score and stunning lighting by Jackie Shemesh, the power of their movements instantly removes any stereotypical need for a female lead and is captivating from the word go. Every detail of every step is delivered with such control, whether they are moving solo or as one, and their ability to bend and create such silent fluidity with their bodies is beyond impressive.
With their muscular limbs sweeping the stage in ‘every day’ clothing it is a genuine pleasure to see the dancers supporting each other as equals, their bodies responding in a way that seems to test how far they can push themselves with the complex choreography rather than competing for primary focus. Avoiding a lead dancer is refreshing and in this case only helps to showcase the exceptional talent of every individual in their own right.
The addition of a video backdrop in places is an interesting choice. Footage of what appears to be a mass of cells lasts a little too long and is slightly underwhelming in comparison to the visuals of the company on stage, although the digital imagery does break up the dance quite nicely.
The second piece, Mesmerics, was originally choreographed in 2003 for just three dancers, and having been re-worked by Christopher Wheeldon for a larger group it can only be described as contemporary elegance. Much of it is danced in partnerships and it somehow brings a different togetherness than The Murmuring. The extensions, demanding lifts and flexibility present the perfect combination of classical and contemporary ballet, with some obvious gymnastic talent and a wonderful increase in energy giving this piece the slight edge. Skilfully enhanced by lighting designer Natasha Chivers, Mesmerics seamlessly keeps your attention and is overall, a beautiful creation.
Andrea Carrucciu, Simone Donati, Flavien Esmieu, Marc Galvez, Adam Kirkham, Edward Pearce, Harry Price, Matthew Rees, Matthew Sandiford and Bradley Waller are the ten gifted dancers making up the current BalletBoyz company. The quality of the production as a whole is top notch and every pirouette is worth seeing.
Review by Sarena McIlwaine
theTalent2015 is a double bill from BalletBoyz which premiered at The Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House to a sell out audience in September last year. BalletBoyz take the show on the road this spring opening on 21st April in Richmond, before showing off their talent in High Wycombe, Poole, Dartford, Hereford, Nottingham, Blackpool, Guildford, Colchester, Darlington, Cheltenham, Yeovil, Brighton, Reading and Bath.
Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, co-founders and artistic directors of BalletBoyz will present: The Murmuring by Alexander Whitley (New Wave Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells) Mesmerics by Christopher Wheeldon (Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet).