A new generation of Balletboyz came to Sadler’s Wells this week in the guise of The Talent.
Reaching the end of their dancing careers, founders Michael Nunn and William Trevitt have chosen to mark their company’s first 25 years by passing the baton to a new group of guys. Handpicked from around the country, these nine men are the crème de la crème of the male dancing world.
Having always been promoters of dance and the male dancer, The Balletboyz commissioned new choreography by Paul Roberts and Jarek Cemerek to harness the capabilities of the group and, like true gents passing their knowledge onto the next generation, Nunn and Trevitt brought Russell Maliphant back to re-choreograph the duos signature piece Torsion.
Testosterone rules throughout all three pieces, with the dancers turning from contemporary gods to urban yobs over the space of one evening. Torsion shows off the strength of the dancers and boy do they have the muscles to do this! This piece couldn’t have been further from the stereotype of ballet – it was gritty, muscular contemporary dance wrapped in Michael Hulls spectacular lighting.
Alpha, performed to songs by Keaton Henson (think James Blunt meets Damien Rice) is a lyrical piece with beauty and wit woven into every step. The group verses the leader set-up stays with the masculine theme of the evening but avoids obvious clichés.
Void couples film with dance. The backdrop is a moving scene of a London street at night which heightens the atmosphere, making the stage feel a little dangerous, like a dimly lit short cut that you know you shouldn’t take. Void carries social comment as despite the sinister undertones and portrayal of aggression, at the end of the day these yobs turn into nine young guys having fun and finding their way through life.
See for yourselves. The Talent strut their stuff at Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue EC1 tonight and tomorrow, Saturday 2 April at 7.30pm. Tickets £10-38.
Photo by Hugo Glendinning