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Mandy Kent

BalletBoyz Them/Us Sadlers Wells March 5th 19

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Posted (edited)

The opening night of Them/Us at Sadlers Wells proved a short but stunning evening of contemporary dance from BalletBoyz. The company is dynamic, talented and unique in being all male. Artistic directors William Trevitt and Michael Nunn have handpicked 8 incredible dancers : in programme order, Sean Flanagan, Benjamin Knapper, Harry Price, Liam Riddick, Dominic Rocca, Matthew Sandiford, Bradley Waller and apprentice Joey Barton.

 

‘Them’ is a choreographic collaboration between Charlotte Pook, Nunn, Trevitt and the dancers. The dancers interact with each other and with a 3D rectangular steel frame from which they hang, lean on, enter and exit, and push round the stage. Dressed in garish-coloured 1970’s style shell suits , the dancers combine dance and gymnastic skills to great visual effect.

 

’Us’ is the stand out piece of the show. Choreographed by the genius that is Christopher Wheeldon, this work is BalletBoyz at their very best. The score by Keaton Henson is modern, synthetic mood music, very suited to the movement , which in typical BB style mixes contemporary dance with capoeira ( a dance/martial arts combo) . The initial group phase brought the dancers together in an amoebic shape -shifting mass, constantly changing and evolving like a shoal of fish or a murmuration of swallows. The second phase included solo, group and pair work , all beautifully brought together by these strong graceful men. The final duet , danced by Waller and Price, was originally created in 2017 as a stand alone short piece for ‘14 days’  . It reminded me of the original boys Nunn and Trevitt in Maliphant’s works like Torsion . Slow, controlled , ever -shifting holds and patterns with an emotional charge of love, sympathy, care and passion. 

A short but exceptionally compelling evening of dance.

(PS ever the gushing fan I took the opportunity of thanking William Trevitt as I happened to sit very nearby by chance)

 

Edited by Mandy Kent
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Thanks for this lovely review, Mandy. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, alison said:

Liam Riddick??!! :o 

Yes, why ? I hadnt seen him before but see that he won Best Male Dancer 2017 at the Critics Circle Awards. He was terrific but they were all terrific. 😃 

Edited by Mandy Kent

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I just thought they only recruited unknowns, that was all.

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I think they hold open auditions so any dancer could, in theory, apply.

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Just an aside, but one of the things I love about Matthew Sandiford is the way his amazing dreadlocks move when he is dancing, emphasising his movements.

And perhaps irrelevant yet fascinating but Mr Trevitt is sporting long hair and a moustache, a la 1970's Peter Wyngarde look . 'On him it looks good' she said with a shrug ;)

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Goodness, Joey Barton must work awfully hard...League One manager and now dance apprentice as well! 😉🕺

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