Premiering as part of the FirstWorks Artistic Icons series on January 31, BalletBoyz is a ground-breaking 10-man ensemble whose work includes both dance and film, lending it a contemporary feeling which belies its ballet lineage. This internationally award-winning multimedia dance company – founded in 2001 – has been described as “fearless, crunching physicality…the hottest ticket around”.
theTALENT in Rhode Island BalletBoyz will present the Rhode Island premiere of their 2016 show “theTALENT” which features commissioned works by two of the UK’s leading choreographers.
Alexander Whitley’s “The Murmuring” has been described as an “aggressive statement” where the dancers use a language “bred of a classical ballet base coupled with [Whitley’s] subtle yet precise musicality …This combination produces a physical punch with a lyrical flow.”
Reviews of Whitley’s work praise his innovation and the visual impact of his work:
[His work’s] significance lies in the visual power of Whitley’s creation, in the potential for dance performance of what he shows us: costuming made of light; settings marvelous and of but momentary existence; a new dance-theatre if we care to dare.
The whole thing is a clever, thoughtful take on the place of ballet in the modern world.
…[The Murmuring is] like a smooth deep breath interrupted by a kick to the ribs.
In Christopher Wheeldon’s “Mesmerics” – set to the music of Philip Glass – the dancers exhibit “elegance and fluidity that feel more cosmic and horizon-broadening.”
A winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Choreography for “An American in Paris”, critics have praised Wheeldon’s attitude and integrated vision:
Mesmerics …moves bodies with an unfailing verve and wit. Mr. Wheeldon, working in the director-choreographer tradition of one of his early mentors, Jerome Robbins, makes the whole show dance.
Dance is the life force of this production, and what’s most exciting and beguiling about it is not just the way it features in the love duets or razzmatazz routines, but the degree to which it brings a shimmer, a buoyancy, a fleet-footed articulation to every detail of the staging.
FROM BALLET TO FILMMAKING
Accomplished principal dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt founded BalletBoyz after retiring from The Royal Ballet in London. In recent years, they’ve stepped down from performing, but haven’t disappeared from the arts world altogether. Instead, they’ve turned their unique vision and extensive talents to the world of film, winning several international film awards including an International Emmy, Rose d’Or and Golden Prague. (They’ve even been knighted by Queen Elizabeth for their services to the arts.)
Incorporating that success in filmmaking, the team incorporates film into each BalletBoyz work to create a fully multimedia experience. Why add this extra element? As Nunn explains it: “A lot of people are frightened of the theatre still, especially of contemporary art and contemporary dance. Most people are saying, ‘what am I supposed to be thinking, what’s the story?’ Everyone wants a narrative, so that’s really why we started that. For the show we’re doing now, the choreographer said, it’s not about anything, don’t look at your programme, there’s no story.”
Trevitt adds, “… it’s trying to put you at ease, as opposed to having to feel anxious about working out what’s going on.”
MORE ABOUT FIRSTWORKS’ ARTISTIC ICONS SERIES FirstWorks’ Artistic Icons series features a carefully curated selection of artists who are leaders in their genres. Selected for their importance to the artistic landscape, these performers also reflect a level of mastery that is unsurpassed in their respective genres. Reflecting Providence’s position as a cultural and creative center, FirstWorks brings these extraordinarily talented artists – who are usually seen only in larger cities around the world –to engage with our local artists, students, and audiences.
Kathleen Pletcher, Executive Artistic Director of FirstWorks, says “BalletBoyz is emblematic of the kind of artists we look for in developing the Artistic Icons series. Their raw talent, coupled with the elegance, beauty, and strength of the dancers’ sheer physicality, sets them apart in the world of dance companies. And their demonstrated commitment to inclusive arts education is very much in sync with the extensive arts-learning programming we develop with each visiting group every year for area schools. We know BalletBoyz will be a strong part of our season, and we’re excited to share them with Providence and Rhode Island.”
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW
Visit www.first-works.org to see photos and videos of the company or to buy tickets for their performance in Providence. Ticket prices are $18-$75; the show is at the Vets and begins at 7:30PM. It’s expected that this show will sell out, so don’t delay!