BalletBoyz: Fourteen Days at Sadler’s Wells
Internationally renowned dance troupe Balletboyz return this year with Fourteen Days, an eclectic reel of new pieces, as well as reviving one of their earlier shows, Fallen (2013). Each segment is choreographed and combined with a musical accompaniment, inviting us into the diverse world of contemporary dance.
The fascination with style and form that drives co-founders and artistic directors Michael Nunn (OBE) and William Trevitt (OBE)is evident. The Title is in the Text – choreographed by multi-award-winning Javier De Frutos, and complemented by one of Britain’s leading composers in creative music, Scott Walker – is thrilling, with the lights turning on and off at every beat, and the dancers appearing in different positions at each turn. Spoken words uttered by Lisa Dawn add an element of mystery and intrigue – such as the phrase, “it exists, even as it disappears,” which is backed by a harmonising choir, operatic voices and rap verses by Killa Impact. A thin beam prop is centre stage, the performers swinging on it effortlessly, performing backflips and cartwheels. The theme of balance and imbalance is perfectly demonstrated; each dancer is an important component in keeping the piece fluid. The beam acts as a support, but could also be potentially dangerous if one was to lose balance – gravity is an essential element of this routine, Frutos’s vision allowing the group to experiment with unconventional techniques.
Human Animal, choreographed by Iván Pérez, is backed by a live orchestra. The dancers emerge one by one, sweeping the floor with their feet in circular motions, gentle and calming, evoking contrasting feelings and imagery to the previous set. The ensemble stride across, conjuring a sense of elegant animalism, bare-legged, sensual and evocative, with Joby Talbot’s music serenely playful, giving the sequence a spirited flourish.
With Us, the sombre two-man number, choreographer Christopher Wheeldon provides the most romantic of all the segments tonight, soundtracked by Keaton Henson. The yearning relationship between the two dancers is captivating, their chemistry palpable, pulling and pushing against one another, signifying desires and their consequences. Though homoerotic in nature, it is interpreted in a manner that everyone can relate to.
Craig Revel Horwood of Strictly Come Dancing choreographs The Indicator Line, beautifully capturing the intricacies of a mining dispute taken from his family’s history. The dancer in charge – wearing a red matador jacket – throws his weight around, fighting with elaborate ballet moves until eventually, we see him become like the rest and lose his authoritative power.
The final piece, Russell Maliphant’s Fallen, is yet another joy to behold. Striking in their languid motions, the performers weave in and out of each position seamlessly – whether being lifted or doing pirouettes amongst one another.
The collaborations tonight have been matched perfectly, and bring out the best in each medium. The synchronicity of the agile movements with the musical compositions, simple lighting and complex sequences all combine to make Fourteen Days a riveting dance show.
Photo: Marilyn Kingwill
Balletboyz: Fourteen Days is at Sadler’s Wells from 26th April until 28th April 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch a live rehearsal of BalletBoyz here: