Balletboyz: The Talent
16 March 2012
There’s dance, and there’s dance theatre. This was just dance. Ecstatically received dance by a young audience with hugely vocal audience appreciation too. The dancing was athletic with brilliant floor work in particular from everyone. Much was made of the cast of “eight.” We only saw seven and there are seven on the poster. Maybe they need a reserve given the amount of jumping and catching. Injury is a constant risk. An example of floor work was one guy circling the stage dancing on his knees. Never seen that before. Later several did it on their backs.
The opening dance (blue denim gear) set out the stall with loud electronic soundtrack and vigorous unison work. The surprise was the motion blur on arm movements. They can’t be moving fast enough to create this, so it must be a high speed strobe effect of some kind. Whatever, it was impressive.
Next came a filmed rehearsal sequence in near You-Tube quality. Much was made of projected film in adverts, but this was simply filler and not integrated with the dance, so pointless.
The second dance (brown rompers, bare chests) was less exciting than the first. The weedy faux-Americana vocal track wasn’t one to elicit dancing for me (nice slide guitar though), and they didn’t do anything they hadn’t done earlier, except the throwing in the air as seen on the poster. Like the first it was on a cunningly lit black stage set.
The second half started with projection again, and there were projeced grainy urban settings throughout part two. Again, not greatly integrated. The first bit was grey hoodies breaking into black T-shirts. The West Side Story style high speed fight was fantastic, but otherwise there wasn’t a lot of variety or difference in the choreography, and at least we were back to the elecronic instrumental that worked better for them. Freezing everyone mid-air for the final blackout was perfectly timed.
As with all dance and opera, the number of curtain calls and audience appreciation was at a level that should greet the resurrected Elvis appearing with John Lennon. Excellent athletic dance, superbly lit, but insufficient “theatre” and too samey for me though, with no touches of humour or light and shade.