Co-produced by Sadlers Wells – Balletboyz-the Talent (ten very impressive professional male ballet dancers) electrified the Derby Theatre stage with two challenging ballet works. The fine attention to detail to every single body position, move and extension, the juxtapositions, the incredible balancing acts of male body against male body – still – gliding or in flight – held the mainly youthful audience in rapture. Once the lights went down and we were presented with a short film and the first dance sequence nary a sweet wrapper rustled across the auditorium. Such was the respect and admiration for this company.
Each of the two dance pieces is announced by a short film about the Balletboyz company's inner workings and rehearsals plus the two choreographers ideas and inspirations. The first work is called Serpent with music by Max Richter. It is choreographed by Liam Scarlett.The supine dancers create the abstract world of gliding and linked/unlinked serpents with utter fluidity, visual poetry, coiling and striking rivals through the medium of ballet. Throughout the dance and Richter's music amplified water drops punctuate the movement and the lighting by Michael Hulls works well with the near bare dancers. The over all effect is stunningly beautiful.
The second ballet work, Fallen, choreographed by Russell Maliphant is a completely different artistic animal. This piece is densely industrial in feel. The music by Armand Amar rises and falls to a dull beat and the dancers, clothed in quasi fatigues spiral from without a scrum and the bodies pulse and dive and spin like elastic crouching dervishes in green pools of light. The dancing becomes more and more animated and is impressive (perhaps an understatement) as bodies begin to fly across the stage as if light as feathers. Then the Balletboyz use balance to an extraordinary degree throughout manner of acute body angling and brave falls and catches. This is certainly a brave dance company and are acclaimed throughout the world for their depiction of forms old and new in ballet.
The Derby Theatre audience rose as one and gave the guys a well deserved standing ovation. Catch them if you can! 'Real men wear tights' as their t-shirts say.