Dance Ambassador Johanna Hadley writes about the Balletboyz ahead of their visit to The Lowry next year.
A single hand extends to the ceiling, twisting and writhing, muscles rippling. A breathtaking opening sequence which entices and tempts, leaving onlookers desiring more. The dancers, not exactly your male dancer stereotype – in fact, as far away from the perceived ‘norm’ as possible – are swathed in tattoos, piercings, and facial hair. It is clear that these men are athletes… but so much more than athletes. As they literally throw one another around, one does not feel agitated or uneasy, but instead, in awe at the spectacle, which is executed with such ease and simplicity. Their strength and agility, complimented beautifully by their suppleness, makes for a truly remarkable performance: athletes, footballers and rugby players just don’t stand up to any comparison with the strength exhibited by these dancers.
BalletBoyz’s the TALENT performance is a double bill (Serpent and Fallen) with choreography by world-renowned choreographers, Liam Scarlett and Russell Maliphant, respectively. Being both relatively short pieces in length (approximately ninety minutes running time in total, including interval) means that the audience’s attention is held from beginning to end, containing a greater density and quality of content than many shows twice their length. Even the most dedicated balletomane will be stunned by the beautifully-crafted choreography, which works exquisitely in conjunction with the exciting, specially-commissioned, musical scores.
Not only are BalletBoyz the sole all-male dance company in the UK, they are also very much leading the way to dance reaching a wider audience with their presence on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook – their website is also regularly updated with videos and photographs from rehearsals – I can highly recommend watching these videos, as they provide an extra dimension to their works and greatly enhances the experience of seeing the final piece. BalletBoyz are all-too-aware of modern audiences’ expectations for a glimpse behind the curtain, and so, preceding the show, have shrewdly included a short ’making of’ film, showing rehearsal footage, and discussions with the choreographers explaining their work.
Whether watching this show as a returning BalletBoyz fan, physical theatre fanatic, general dance lover, or even just to ogle at their boy-band rugged good looks, this show will not disappoint. BalletBoyz have the unique ability to speak to a very broad audience – I would go as far as to say that even the most reluctant, “No-excuses-you’re-coming-along”, attendee would appreciate this show.
Einstein once famously said, ‘Dancers are the athletes of God’ – after watching BalletBoyz, you can’t help but agree.
BalletBoyz are coming to The Lowry on 4-5th February 2014.