BalletBoyz: Them/Us, McEwan Hall, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
BalletBoyz Dancers, Charlotte Pook, Michael Nunn, William Trevitt, Christopher Wheeldon, (Choreography) Charlotte Pook (Rehearsal Director) Mike Lindsay (Production Manager) Elisa Mozzanica (Company Manager) Andrew Ellis, Michael Nunn, William Trevitt (Lighting Designer) Katherine Watt (Costume Designer) Kingsley Hall (Costume Maker)
Edward Arnold, Benjamin Knapper, Paola Pisarra, Harry Rice, Liam Riddick, Dominic Rocca, Matthew Sandiford, Bradley Waller (Dancers)
Running time

BalletBoyz came into existence back in 1999, which is an eternity in this business, and I have been looking forward to watching this company perform this piece for some time. This is a show in two halves, and, unfortunately or fortunately, the latter is significantly better than the former. The first section entitled 'Them' begins on a raw open stage with a large tubular rectangular cube. This structure is used and moved by the dancers and becomes a touchstone for changes in tone, momentum and direction.

The opening music is staccato, and that almost defined what I then experienced. I found the first half disjointed, lacking in any apparent form; there may have been a theme or core, but I was not able to discern it. Instead it felt like a sequence of set pieces with no flow or cohesion. The creative use of the cube formed some powerful and effecting sequences. I must also add that the costumes (which looked like 90's tracksuits) did not help. Overall for me the first half is lacking in impact and structure.

The second half, called 'Us' is a vast improvement. This piece interweaves the performers creating balance and unbalance, rhythm and a harmonious synthesis. Performances were concentrated with emotion and created a journey and sequence of moves and counter moves. The final pas de deux is exquisite, creating a wonderful crescendo to close the show. It is sophisticated in the forms and choreography employed and is layered with pathos and love. The music throughout this piece is a powerful counterpoint and never drops below beautiful.

Times: 1-6, 8-15 August, 1:00pm