22 June 2013

BalletBoyz at The Rose (beautiful)

The BalletBoyz have a new home and they now live in Kingston upon Thames with me. To celebrate this they put on a special performance at The Rose.

I was there in Row A.

The Summer Gala, as they chose to call it, took us through some of the Balletboyz' history in the first half and then gave us a recent work in the second. One of the nice touches was that meant that the show was bookended by two pieces by Russell Maliphant.

Critical Mass was danced by the Balletboyz' founders. It is possible that they are less athletic than they once were but that did not matter here as Critical Mass is dance as close combat with the two bodies flowing around and in-between each other. Technically brilliant with flawless timing and so much to enjoy in the movement and the interactions between the performers.

The other pieces came thick and fast with quite a few surprises along the way, not least the appearance of women in some of them.

The Rite of Spring was another highlight despite being cruelly chopped to fit in to the gala.

The pieces were all different and all modern. And that meant lots of tumbling, rolling and sliding rather than the athletic leaping that used to dominate male ballet dancing.I much prefer dancers on the floor to dancers in the air - it looks better and there is more that the dancers can do in transitioning between positions. Once launched in to the air the only option is to come down again.

After the break we were treated to a full-length work, Fallen by Russell Maliphant. I had seen Fallen earlier in the year at Richmond Theatre and was delighted to be able to see it again. It is a beautiful piece of dance and seeing it in the context of the history of the BalletBoyz was a bonus. It shared some of the delicate close moves of the opening piece and added strong group work. Being simplistic and unnecessarily stereotypical, it was like a mix of female and male dancing performed brilliantly by just men that the absence of women was not noticed and was not relevant.

Now that BalletBoyz have moved to Kingston I hope that they will be appearing at the Rose regularly. Some pre-tour previews would be very nice.

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