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Press Release: BalletBoyz announce new film Rumplestilzchen starring Jane Horrocks and the return of Deluxe

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PRESS RELEASE - Thursday 18 November 2021




















The internationally acclaimed BalletBoyz has today announced their return to both screen

and stage.  In March they will return to live performance with Deluxe, a double bill fusing beautiful dance with original music and engaging film content, in the company’s unique and unmistakable style. Ahead of that, this Christmas, they are set to present their third feature film, Rumpelstilzchen. A Sky Original, it is directed and produced by International Emmy Award-winning BalletBoyz Artistic Directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt with Richard Jones, with music composed by David Sawer and movement direction by Sarah Fahie. The spellbinding fable is brought to life anew for the screen with an all-star cast including Jane Horrocks in the title role, alongside Tanya Reynolds, John Marquez, Daniel Francis-Swaby, Edward Davis, and Bailey Pepper. The music is composed by David Sawer. Rumpelstilzchen film will be released from 21 December in Curzon Cinemas and on Sky Arts and Freeview on 23 December. Deluxe will embark on a nationwide UK tour from March to May, including London’s Sadler’s Wells between 24 and 27 March. It is a co-production with Sadler’s Wells.  Further tour dates to be announced.




An engrossing and original fantasy film, the creative team of Rumpelstilzchen have brought the age-old Brothers Grimm tale to life in a playful, novel re-imagining for all ages. In the tradition of the stars of the silver screen and with a nod to the colourful, genre defining world of Powell and Pressburger, the actors communicate the story through movement and gestural narration. Featuring scenes that include a pool of tears, the transformation of straw into gold, a wild wedding reception and a spooky dance around a fireside, the one-of-a-kind film combines theatre, dance, and music, set to a score performed by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. It is a ballet without dancing, an opera without singing, a drama without speaking.


A Miller boasts to the King that his daughter can spin straw into gold. Three times the King demands she does so, promising marriage. If she fails, her life is forfeit. Three times she despairs until Rumpelstiltskin appears, spinning straw into gold in exchange for a gift. The third time the girl promises her first born child to Rumpelstiltskin, should she be queen. Years later, the new queen bears a child and Rumpelstiltskin arrives for his gift. He will only relent if within three days the queen can guess his name...


International Emmy, Rose d’Or, and Golden Prague Award winners BalletBoyz are renowned for their use of film and technology in their performance work and were the first ever dance company to release a full length feature film in 2016.


The full cast includes: Jane Horrocks, Tanya Reynolds (Sex Education), John Marquez (Doc Martin); Daniel Francis-Swaby (Small Axe); Edward Davis (Emma); Bailey Pepper (Doctor Who).



Deluxe was planned for 2020 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking all male ensemble, the production was one of the first pieces of work to be adapted in lockdown for broadcast, premiering online and later on BBC Four.


Deluxe sees Shanghai-based dancer and choreographer Xie Xin (TAO Dance Theatre, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Eastman) choreographing Ripple for BalletBoyz set to an original score by composer Jiang Shaofeng. Described by the choreographer as a memory like an ocean, the piece explores movement inspired by the memory of a person and energy that such memories possess. 


Renowned as the choreographer behind immersive theatre trailblazers Punchdrunk, Maxine Doyle will present Bradley 4:18, as the second part of Deluxe, to live jazz music composed specially for the piece by Cassie Kinoshi, of the Mercury Prize-nominated SEED Ensemble. Doyle’s piece was inspired by Kate Tempest’s poems, in particular, Pictures on a Screen and it explores insomnia and modern western masculinity. 


The current BalletBoyz Company includes: Dan Baines; Paris Fitzpatrick; Seirian Griffiths; Ben Knapper; Luigi Nardone; Alecsander Nilsson; Dom Rocca; Kai Tomioka.



Over the last 20 years BalletBoyz has made 38 pieces of original and innovative new work for the stage, won 13 international awards including an Olivier and National Dance Award, and collaborated with 25 choreographers, ranging from some of the world’s finest and most established to emerging and unknown choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Akram Khan, Kristen McNally, Matthew Bourne and Liv Lorent to name a few. As well as an extensive body of work on stage, the company has had success on the screen with their first feature film Young Men (2016) winning the Golden Prague Arts Award and the Rose d’Or in the Arts Category.


BalletBoyz is a pioneering force in making dance accessible and continues to be celebrated across four continents by audiences and critics alike; the company has performed their work more than 400 times around the UK and in 13 countries across the world, with over 350,000 people having seen one of their productions over the last 20 years. Many people have also attended their regular dance workshops and classes for both children and adults, including specialised classes for people with learning disabilities and Parkinson’s, held at their studios in Kingston.



Twitter: @BalletBoyz
Facebook: /BalletBoyz
Instagram: /BalletBoyz


Curzon Cinemas from 21 December,
with a Q+A preview screening on 30 November
Sky Arts and Freeview on 23 December


Presented by BalletBoyz


Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

First performance: Thursday 24 March
Final performance: Saturday 27 March
Performance schedule: Thursday to Saturday at 7.30pm

Box office: 020 7863 8000
www.balletboyz.com / www.sadlerswells.com
Prices from £15





8 March 
Brighton Theatre Royal


11-12 March 
Northern Stage


24-26 March 
Sadler’s Wells, London


28 March 
Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield 


31 March-1 April 
Storyhouse, Chester 


3 April 
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh 


11 April 
York Grand Opera House


18 -19 April
Richmond Theatre, Surrey


20-21 April 
artsdepot, London


23 April 

The Capitol, Horsham 


27-28 April 

Northcott Exeter 


1 -2  May 

Wyvern Theatre 


4 - 5 May 
Cheltenham Everyman


10 May 
G Live, Guildford 


12 May 
Worthing Theatre


14 May 
Lighthouse Poole


17 May
Royal & Derngate, Northampton


19 May 
Yeovil Octagon



Michael Nunn and William Trevitt met as students at the Royal Ballet School. In 1987 they graduated into The Royal Ballet company where they danced for twelve years, performing major roles and working with the most important choreographers of the Late 20th Century. During this time, a shared interest in photography and film found them creating a documentary for Channel 4, titled BalletBoyz. The four-part series revealed their lives as “ordinary” ballet dancers.

They left the Royal Ballet in 1999 and soon after launched their own dance company, BalletBoyz. During the first decade, they created and performed a variety of works with choreographers including William Forsythe, Michael Clark, Akram Khan, Liv Lorent, Matthew Bourne and Christopher Wheeldon. 

In 2004 they won the Laurence Olivier Award for Russell Maliphant’s Broken Fall, performing with Sylvie Guillem, returning to the Royal Opera House as Guest Principal dancers. During this period, they created numerous arts documentaries and dance films including: BalletBoyz II, set in Japan; Rise and Fall – featuring the work of Russell Maliphant; a gala performance and films to celebrate the retirement of their classmate Darcey Bussell; and a digital corps de ballet for Christopher Wheeldon’s work Electric Counterpoint. They won the prestigious Rose d’Or award and an International Emmy for Strictly Bolshoi, followed by a film about The Royal Ballet’s first visit to Cuba, and a specially commissioned The Rite of Spring which won the Golden Prague Grand Prix award. 

Following their retirement from the stage in 2009 they reinvented BalletBoyz, bringing young dancers together to create an all-male dance company that has grown into the award-winning group performing tonight. Working with various choreographers, including Liam Scarlett, Alexander Whitley, Paul Roberts, Fernanda Lippi and Javier de Frutos, they have added dozens of work to the repertoire which tours nationally and internationally to great acclaim. Film production continued with: The Next Generation; Kama Sutra for SkyArts; and 40+ short films for Channel 4. In 2014 they commissioned their first feature film Young Men, choreographed by Iván Pérez. Young Men premiered on BBC2 on Armistice Day 2016 and won several awards. 


Most recently, Michael and Billy directed and produced Romeo & Juliet: Beyond Words, featuring the dancers of the Royal Ballet in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s classic choreography. The film was shown in Curzon cinemas before being broadcast on BBC Two in December 2019, and has recently been nominated for an International Emmy. 


Michael and Billy are Associate Artists at Sadler’s Wells and were made OBEs in 2012.


Sarah Fahie graduated from London Contemporary Dance School with an MA in choreography and is a recipient of a Jerwood Foundation Choreography Award. She has provided choreography and movement direction for works including La Clemenza di Tito, Frankenstein/Knoxville Summer Of 1915, Katya Kabanova, La bohème, The Gambler, Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, 4:48 Psychosis (Royal Opera House); Valkyrie, Rodelinda, Don Giovanni (English National Opera); Don Giovanni (Theater Basel); Rodelinda (Bolshoi); La damnation de Faust (Glyndebourne); Don Giovanni (Bergen National Opera/Northern Ireland Opera), La bohème (Teatro Real, Madrid), Aida; Proms semi-staging of Der Rosenkavalier (Royal Albert Hall), La traviata, La bohème (Opera Holland Park); Endgame and Rough For Theatre II (Old Vic); The Trial (Young Vic). Work as a director includes the upcoming world premiere of Giant for Britten Pears Arts. Associate/revival director work includes Falstaff (Glyndebourne). 


David Sawer’s music is regularly heard in concert halls and opera houses throughout the UK and Europe. He has received commissions from the BBC Proms, English National Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Opera North, Bregenz Festival, Cheltenham Festival, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and ensemble musikFabrik.

Major works include a large body of chamber and vocal music, the orchestral scores Byrnan Wood, the greatest happiness principle and Flesh and Blood, operas The Skating Rink, From Morning to Midnight and Skin Deep and the ballet works Rumpelstiltskin, Cat’s-Eye which was choreographed by Richard Alston for Ballet Rambert, and April\March, performed by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre with choreography by Aletta Collins. Several of his works have been released by NMC Records.

Born in London Richard Jones has directed for the international stage for over 30 years. He was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours. He is the winner of eight Olivier Awards, two Evening Standard Awards and was Tony nominated for La Bete. Most recently he directed new productions of Valkyrie (English National Opera), La Clemenza di Tito (ROH Covent Garden), Judgment Day starring Luke Kirby (Park Avenue Armory New York), and Endgame with Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming (Old Vic). 




Maxine Doyle is an independent choreographer and director. Since 2002 she has been Associate Director and choreographer for Punchdrunk with whom she co-directed the multi-award-winning Sleep No More (London, Boston, New York, Shanghai), The Drowned Man, Faust and Masque of the Red Death to name a few. She has an MA in choreography from the Laban Centre and was Artistic Director of First Person Dance Company from 1996 – 2003 touring works such as Deja DeuxIn the Face of a Stranger, Plastic Chill and It’s Only a Gameshow. In 2006 she was a Place Prize semi-finalist with Forest. Her work for theatre includes Evening at the Talk House (NT), Electra(Old Vic), The Changeling, Hamlet (Young Vic), The Children’s Hour (West End), Timon of Athens(The Globe) and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (National Theatre). Opera includes Faust(Baden Baden) and The Cunning Little Vixen (Glyndebourne). Maxine is a regular principle artist at Springboard Danse Montreal creating Hubris, Electric Sheep and Miss D. Most recently Maxine has been collaborating on her first feature film Mari.


Xie Xin is the creator and Artistic Director of Xiexin Dance Theatre (XDT) and is an Associate Artist of the Shanghai International Dance Centre Theatre and jury member of the Lotus Prize. In addition to this, she is a guest professor at Shanghai University of Sport and guest choreographer of Hessisches Staatsballett (Wiesbaden) and Shanghai Dance Company. In 2014 Xie Xin set up her own dance company and began her career as an independent artist. Her choreographic works have won numerous awards in China and abroad, including awards from Rome International Dance Competition, the Lotus Prize, the Hannover International Choreography competition, and the Beijing International Ballet and Choreography competition. Her work has been financially supported by the National Art Foundation, CFLAC Foundation and the Young Artists Platform of Dance.


Recently Xie Xin has worked as a dancer for Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Shanghai Jinxing Dance Theater, Beijing Tao Dance Theatre and Beijing Dance LDTX.  In recent years, Xie Xin’s work with XDT has been performed at many European and Asian Art Festivals such as Kuopio Dance Festival (Finland), Colours Dance Festival (Germany), Festival Paris L’ete (France), STEPS Dance Festival (Switzerland), Wiesbaden Theatre Performance Season (Germany), Croatian Sprite and Hibernik Dance Festival, Chinese Dance Biennale, and Hong Kong Art Festival. She has participated in art festivals in 30 countries.


Cassie Kinoshi is a Mercury Award nominated and Ivors Academy Award winning London-based composer, arranger and alto-saxophonist. She is currently working in theatre, film, contemporary dance and both the jazz and classical performance worlds. Cassie is best known for her work with her large ensemble SEED, Afrobeat band KOKOROKO and jazz septet NÉRIJA. Theatre composition credits include:  Top Girls (National Theatre), All The Shit I Can’t Say To My Dad, Blue Beneath My Skin (This Is Black, Bunker Theatre), SuperBlackMan (Battersea Arts), Pagans, Exceptional MercyHy Brasil (Old Vic Theatre, Old Vic 12). Awards and nominations include:  Mercury Award Nominee 2019 (Driftglass, SEED Ensemble), Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year Winner 2019, Ivors Academy Award Winner 2018, Best Jazz Composition for Large Ensemble (Afronaut, SEED Ensemble), Parliamentary Jazz Award 2017 for Best Newcomer (Nérija), Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year Nominee 2016 (Nérija), BBC Young Composer of the Year Nominee 2012.





About BalletBoyz

Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, the founders of BalletBoyz, are hailed as pioneers for making dance accessible and reaching wide audiences through their celebrated stage and television work. They came to prominence through extensive national and international touring, as well as through their popular television documentaries. Founded in 2000, BalletBoyz established itself as one of the most original and innovative forces in modern dance: revolutionising programming formats, commissioning work and collaborating with cutting-edge talent. During the first decade, they created and performed a variety of works with choreographers including William Forsythe, Michael Clark, Akram Khan, Liv Lorent, Matthew Bourne and Christopher Wheeldon. In 2004 they won the Laurence Olivier Award for Russell Maliphant’s Broken Fall. The company’s chief aim is to challenge, excite and enlighten audiences through its work, bringing together elements from diverse realms of the arts including composers, artists, designers and filmmakers. The company has won numerous awards and nominations including an Olivier Award, National Dance Awards, an International Emmy and the Golden Prague and Rose d’Or Awards twice. Following the Artistic Directors’ retirement from the stage, the company grew into an award-winning troupe of talented dancers from a variety of backgrounds. Working with various choreographers, including Liam Scarlett, Alexander Whitley, Paul Roberts, Fernanda Lippi and Javier de Frutos, they have added dozens of work to the repertoire which tours nationally and internationally to great acclaim. In 2013, BalletBoyz won Best Independent Company in the National Dance Awards, Best Modern Choreography for Russell Maliphant’s Fallen, while Michael Hulls won the 2014 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his work with BalletBoyz. In 2016, the company’s first feature film was broadcast: Young Men won the Golden Prague Arts Award (2017) and the Rose d’Or in the Arts Category (2017), rewarding originality, quality and creativity. Alongside the extensive body of stage and screen work, the company is engaged in many projects which offer dance and community opportunities to those who may find themselves marginalised by traditional dance offerings, including Dance Together, MoovBank and Parkinson’s CAN Dance. We also provide a dynamic and accessible programme of weekly classes from our studios in Kingston-Upon-Thames, delivered by our specialist teachers to all abilities and ages. BalletBoyz continue to inspire, educate and showcase dance in the best possible ways, bringing our creations to as wide an audience as possible. 


About Sky Arts

Sky Arts exists to bring more art to more people across the UK. In 2020, with the creative industries under serious threat, we threw open our doors to make the channel free for everyone to watch. We’ve redoubled our mission to increase access to the arts and we’re committed to getting everyone involved as the industry recovers. The fact is, we need the arts now like never before, and Sky Arts brings them straight to your living room. 


We have something for everyone, championing creative talent by showcasing the best in music, theatre, dance, literature, opera and visual art. From Glyndebourne to Grime and Cézanne to The Style Council, we’ve got your passions covered. Millions of viewers tune in to hit returning series such as Portrait Artist of the YearUrban Myths and British cultural institution The South Bank Show, but our acclaimed new programmes might take you anywhere from Pinter’s house with Danny Dyer to a Scottish road trip with Samuel Johnson. 


Collaboration is at the heart of what we do. Sky Arts is the headline sponsor of National Theatre Live in the UK and we work with cultural partners across the country including the English National Opera, Royal Academy of Arts, Tate, Creative Industries Federation and Coventry City of Culture to name but a few. 


You can watch Sky Arts for free on Freeview channel 11 and Freesat channel 147.  If you’ve got Sky or a Now TV entertainment pass, you can also watch over 2,000 hours of shows exclusively on demand.  


We’re passionate about supporting the next generation of artists, so we’re working with five leading Sky Arts Ambassadors: Booker Prize-winner Bernardine Evaristo, dance artist Akram Khan, conductor Charles Hazlewood, Theatre Royal Stratford East Artistic Director Nadia Fall, and sculptor Anish Kapoor – to run bursary schemes for new and emerging talent.  


About Sadler’s Wells
Sadler's Wells is a world-leading dance organisation, committed to producing, commissioning and presenting new works and to bringing the best domestic and international dance to UK and worldwide audiences. Under the Artistic Directorship of Alistair Spalding, the theatre’s acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap.


Audiences of over half a million come to Sadler’s Wells’ three London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world and accessing its content through its Digital Stage. Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more dance than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 180 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today.


Sadler’s Wells’ own productions have toured to some of the most prestigious theatres and festivals around the world, such as the Sydney Opera House, the Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival in New York, and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing.


Sadler’s Wells also nurtures the next generation of talent through a range of artist development initiatives including its New Wave Associates programmes, its Wild Card initiative and the National Youth Dance Company. A further 30,000 individuals take part in its learning and engagement programmes each year.


During the Covid-19 crisis, Sadler’s Wells has continued to connect with global audiences through its Digital Stage, an online programme of performances and workshops for people to watch at home. Since 27 March 2020, the programme has been enjoyed by audiences all over the world, generating over 5 million video views globally.


On 17 May 2021, live dance returns to Sadler’s Wells, with performances for socially distanced audiences.


Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and currently receives approximately 10% of its revenue from Arts Council England. www.sadlerswells.com


Sadler’s Wells social media:
Facebook: @SadlersWells
Twitter: @Sadlers_Wells
Instagram: @sadlers_wells
YouTube: Sadler’s Wells Theatre


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