A one night visit to the New Theatre by the BalletBoyz provided an opportunity to see the youthful male dance talent that they are nurturing in theTALENT, a double bill of works specially created for them.  Marcella Vigneri took her 10 year old son Ravi; here are their impressions.

Marcella writes:

It has been a wonderful evening of male-only dance performance, an event divided into two new works, Serpent choreographed by Royal Ballet Liam Scarlett and Fallen by Sadlers Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant.  Overall, what really impressed me was the perfect balance between musicality and strength in movement: both works offered an amazing presence of stage with 10 Ballet Boyz dancers (not all with a classical dance training) offering stylised lines, boldly constructed shapes, dynamic lifts and athletic jumps effortlessly performed off each others’ bodies.

The first, slightly softer piece Serpent was set out using a background and stage lighting reminiscent of the African Savannah.  I could recognize Scarlett’s choreographic signature, somehow importing classical dance postures, soft lines, body bends off balance and a nice progression from the initial effect of a quasi- ‘corps de ballet’ of snakes gradually breaking out into interestingly constructed male pas-de-deux, featuring symmetrical shapes and geometric lines realised through alternating body lifts, with an accent on bodies rebounding off each other as they ‘rolled’ on and off stage.  Towards the end Scarlett’s choreography felt a bit repetitive and perhaps unnecessarily long, but it was impressive that he managed to pull off a non narrative work that lasted half hour.

Somehow more interesting, engaging and enjoyable was the second piece, Maliphant’s Fallen, set up in what looked like the warehouse of a heavy industry; dancers opening up the piece ensemble in a suggestively circular shape of moving elements giving the effect of chains rotating in an engine, then breaking off in pairs or small group of dancers executing lifts and shapes suggestive of sculptures in motion.  I particularly liked the choreographic effect of having all dancers on stage engaging in differently articulated movements at the same time.  This gave the dance the quality of a busy working site where lots of things are happening at the same time, all equally ‘important’ and all linked one to another, which forced the audience to an intense eye scanning exercise to capture the details of different elements as they synchronized all together.

It was a truly enjoyable experience, I loved the technical proficiency of the dancers with their impressive display of precise footwork, neat lifts and effortlessly balanced group dance.  Andrea Carrucciu stood out as the specially talented Ballet Boy.

Marcella Vigneri

11th February 2014

Ravi writes:

My Impressions of BALLETBOYZ ~ THE TALENT ~

By RAVI VENUGOPAL

I liked the fact that all of the dancers were confident about throwing themselves at someone else, and knowing that then whoever the choreographer chose to be the ‘catcher’, would then catch them. But then that the ‘catcher’ would catch the ‘faller’ with an extremely graceful move, was pretty unbelievable.

SERPENT

I very much liked the timing in the dance, for example: At one point, there was a solo going on, and then, at the end of the solo, the soloist jumped to the far side of the stage, and then, at the same time, a group of dancers just jumped pretty much out of nowhere, and then they all formed a circle.  My favourite part of the dance, is when one of the dancers jumps out of the backstage, into some other dancer’s arms. I thought that was tremendously spectacular.

FALLEN

To be entirely honest, I enjoyed seeing the second dance more than the first one.  I thought the same thing: that they were confident about throwing each other. Also, I thought that it was somewhat more moving than the other one, which was pretty moving itself. I think that what I am trying to get at, is that I very much liked the flow of Dance Two.

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