Them/Us at Vaudeville Theatre
The Vaudeville Theatre plays host to two new dance shows, Them and Us, in this double bill from BalletBoyz’ West End debut. And they couldn’t be more different.
First up, Them. The piece is built on the interesting concept of democratically creating choreography with the dancers and directors all working together. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. Having many voices where there would usually be one has created a rather disjointed performance. Some of the movements are clever, some even impressive, but with no clear, singular vision, it gets old quick.
The costumes are another strange choice. The ensemble are all dressed in three-coloured tracksuits, as if they’re off to compete in the 1992 Olympics. But the real problem with a zipped-up tracksuit jacket is that the slightest lift of the shoulders and it rises up and bunches around the zip. So for a good part of the performance, each of the BalletBoyz sport a single, solitary pointy Madonna breast.
It’s clear from the first few seconds that these are very talented dancers. And incorporating a metal cube frame into the routine, the BalletBoyz make so much more of the stage, from the floor to six feet in the air. It just feels like this is an experimental fringe piece that hasn’t quite worked out.
Us, on the other hand, is brilliant. As the only choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon produces a coherent, elegant and electric piece about a relationship.
It’s a stunning and mesmerising display, perfectly complimenting Keaton Henson’s beautiful score. In fact, the music and dancing work so well together that it’s difficult to separate them. From rhythmic, beating group choreography to spark-igniting partner choreography, every moment adds to the perfect overall flow of the performance.
The troupe may show more range and individuality in the former routine but in the latter, the BalletBoyz really showcase their world-class talent, producing minuscule movements perfectly in time and impressively fluid jumps and spins. Hardcore dance enthusiasts may find something interesting in the experimental Them, but Us will most definitely excite.
Photos: George Piper
Them/Us is at Vaudeville Theatre from 3rd June until 15th June 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.