Serpent/ Fallen, BalletBoyz the Talent 2013, Sadler's Wells - reviewed on 12th March
|BalletBoyz the Talent in Serpent|
I first saw the BalletBoyz as a teenager and remember being fascinated by their movement quality, strength and dexterity. The original pair (Michael Nunn and William Trevitt) are now no longer onstage, but their talented ten protégées continue to provide plenty to intrigue.
In their 2013 double bill, two new works are performed by the all-male cast. Choreographer Liam Scarlett explores fluid snake-like movements in Serpent, opening with the dancers curled up on the floor, seemingly naked (though they are actually wearing flesh-coloured shorts) and lifting their arms, rotating their wrists and splaying their fingers.
As Royal Ballet Artist in Residence, Scarlett is more familiar with ballet vocabulary and relies heavily on pas de deux in his classical works. Here instead he is forced to create male-male duos, which have many of his usual trademarks but benefit from the exciting addition of changeable roles as each dancer both lifts and is lifted.
To Max Richter’s score which encompasses divergent sounds and moods, it was Scarlett’s intention to hide a subtle deadliness underneath his supple movements. This sense of attack is seen when dancers grab each other by the neck, as if preparing to strangle. The BalletBoyz dancers, with their elegant yet resilient movement and muscular physiques, make ideal demonstrators for exactly this idea.
Russell Maliphant’s Fallen has a contrastingly industrial feel, with the threatening drum beat score by Armand Amar reflected in the choreography as dancers aggressively circle and rebound off each other. Andrea Carrucciu stands out particularly in a deep back bend which he coils out of with incredible control of movement.
The BalletBoyz are an excellent company of truly gifted dancers. The Spice Girls's motto was ‘girl power’ but this is ‘boy power’ at its best.