FOURTEEN DAYS BalletBoyz – Four Stars ****

Four choreographers take up the challenge offered by the BalletBoyz artistic directors and produce a diverse range of work.

14 years ago when Billy Trevitt and Michael Nunn asked 5 choreographers to make work for them among those who stepped up were Russell Maliphant and Christopher Wheeldon. For the current production, they were joined by Javier de Frutos, Ivan Perez and Craig Revel Horwood. The theme was balance and each choreographer was given a composer who created an an original score for the dance. But, there was a catch – the pieces had to be made within a fourteen day period.

The result is quite amazing as not only are the musical compositions quite spectacular but the pieces are intricately choreographed and confidently performed by the all-male company.

The first piece entitled ‘The Title is in the Text’ is choreographed by Javier de Frutos and the composer is Scott Walker. The ensemble piece is centred on and around a seesaw where the dancers stand in different positions and explore the effect of shifting their weight in various ways. At one point a dancer stands on the raised end and leans back at an extraordinary obtuse angle to the seesaw while the low end is weighted by a dancer in a lunge position. The seesaw becomes many things from a piece of apparatus in the park to a balancing act otherwise known as the economy. This is borne out by the text and makes the piece intriguing.

Ivan Perez choreographed the hypnotic ‘Human Animal’ to a score by Jody Talbot. The bare legged dancers seem like horses performing dressage in a circle reminiscent of an indoor arena or circus.

Christopher Wheeldon has choreographed a beautiful and touching duet for two dancers, Jordan Robson and Bradley Waller, to music by Keaton Henson who created the soundtrack for the BalletBoyz’ Life.

Craig Revel Horwood’ ‘The Indicator Line’ moves away from the style of the first three pieces into a more brash piece which appears to make a comparison between the army drill sergeant and the rehearsal director of a chorus line.

The fifth piece is a revival of Russell Maliphant’s ‘Fallen’ (2013) finishes the programme and entertains with its smooth transitions and sophisticated choreography.

By Gail Deal.

Reviewed at Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, Islington

On tour until December 1st 2017 – for information

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