In Fourteen Days BalletBoyz bring us an eclectic quartet of new works from four choreographers, all of whom were challenged to put together their creation in 14 days, exploring themes of balance and imbalance. The choreographers were also paired up with composers and the result is a varied but largely successful evening.
Two men dressed simply in stone-coloured boiler suits first experiment tentatively on a oversized seesaw placed centre stage, before being joined by the full company.
BalletBoyz, Fourteen Days, The Title is in the Text, photo Panayiotis Sinnos
This gentle interplay gradually develops into something more confrontational. As one dancer balances, another can manipulate the seesaw with his weight. They become bolder with the full company atop the beam, the risks increasing as one man is lifted above the rest.
This is the kind of power struggle only de Frutos could construct, concluded in amusing fashion as two dancers sit at either end of the seesaw and bounce contently in silence.
Scott Walker’s blistering musical accompaniment is where the divisiveness can be found, and is likely to be a little offensive to some ears. The composition features hushed whisperings, then high pitched wailings that resemble a fire alarm, which can be a little trying. The rapping from Killa Impact came as light relief!
The following three works are all more typical BalletBoyz territory. Iván Pérez’ Human Animal sees five dancers replicate animal behaviours present in the wild, as they move around the stage, most often in circles, bouncing from foot to foot throughout in what is a no doubt also a test in stamina.
Co-Artistic Director Billy Trevitt notes the complex process required to create the piece: it was choreographed almost completely in silence. Composer Joby Talbot was sent a recording of the sound of the dancer’s feet in rehearsal and the score was created accordingly. It’s a light, entertaining piece sandwiched between two more brooding ones but lacks a little impact.
BalletBoyz, Fourteen Days, Human Animal, photo Panayiotis Sinnos
Christopher Wheeldon is one of the most in-demand modern day choreographers; which is not surprising if all his works are as emotionally devastating as Us.
It’s the shortest but most mesmerising of the premieres, a stunning duet between Jordan Robson and Bradley Waller. Wheeldon’s favouring of more classical styles is evident as the pair create some wonderful lines between some stirring and sensitive interplay. Us is undoubtedly lifted by Keaton Henson’s accompaniment of heavy strings, which bring extra emotional heft.
In a final change of pace, Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood presents The Indicator Line. As a fan of the man’s famous tongue lashings dished out of a Saturday evening, I was disappointed the piece lacked some narrative clarity.
Imbalance was clearly present in this work of powerplay between one man and the rest of the group. It brims with theatricality and aggressive masculinity but running at only nine minutes long, the piece’s intent needs to be channeled more accurately to be more than a visual spectacle.
The evening concluded with an enjoyable revisit to Russell Maliphant’s Fallen. It’s danced by the full company with a wonderful sense of confidence and familiarity now. The lifts and catches are faultlessly clean and packed with the impressive physicality the company is renowned for.
|What||BalletBoyz, Fourteen Days, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
26 Apr 18 – 28 Apr 18, 19:30 Dur.: 1 hour 40 minutes with one interval
|Website||Click here to book via Sadler's Wells website|