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BalletBoyz Amazing TALENT

The BalletBoyz debuted in Blackpool on Saturday night for a fleeting, one night only performance which left the audience holding its breath at the end of the first half.  The Murmering, choreographed by Alexander Whitley, began with a hypnotic electronic bass, like a heartbeat pumping life into the cast of all male dancers, as they came together, wheeling and swooping like the starlings’ performance over North Pier every autumn.

Stark lighting complemented the score, by digital music duo Raime,  as tension ebbed and flowed across the Grand Theatre stage in the form of ten dancers moving as one, or the more visually jagged solo performances in which each man danced on the outside of his feet, making his legs collapse inwards, as one arm hung limp, like a dead weight. In the more frantic sections of the performance, gymnastics and martial arts were fused with dance in strong and graceful manoeuvres that never faltered and were performed with a refreshing brashness by the brilliantly trained cast. The use of video projection, while not exactly hindering the performance, did not seem necessary, however, and the The Murmering would benefit from being a little shorter.

BalletBoyz was founded by Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt in 2001. During their twelve years at the Royal Ballet between them they danced all the major roles and went on to create documentaries including Ballet Boyz, Ballet Boyz  IIThe Next Step and Strictly Bolshoi.  The pioneering Talent project began in 2010 when Nunn and Trevitt selected dancers from a variety of backgrounds and worked with them closely; coaching and mentoring to create a cast of first class performers.  BalletBoyz – theTALENT has since gone from strength to strength, touring nationally and internationally, earning fantastic reviews.

Christopher Wheeldon’s  Mesmeric in the second half displayed the choreographer’s talent for blending classical moves with contemporary. Originally performed in 2003, this current version has been revised and reworked for the all male  ensemble and when the Boyz partner each other in classic lifts there is a moving  strength and tenderness  in the shapes they create.  Pirouettes crash into forward roles and the dancers’ fluidity, strength and seemingly effortless interweaving of bodies is mesmerizing to watch. The confidence of the cast was uplifting and though the solo performances were enjoyable, the company was at its stunning best when moving as one.

 

The BalletBoyz tour continues across the UK this summer. See their website for details.

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