26 March 2020
By Lyndsey Winship
With their 20th anniversary tour now on hold, BalletBoyz rise to meet the challenge of theatreland going digital, taking their new show Deluxe online to launch the Facebook Premieres series from Sadler’s Wells.
No strangers to the screen, directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt often use behind-the-scenes video to connect with the audience, and this show’s opening dance was always going to be a film. The Intro is a short by new choreographer Sarah Golding. It’s a striking piece with jazz dance flavour, its camp edge offset by the blokeishness of the six dancers, an enjoyable dissonance that whets the appetite for more of Golding’s work.
Nunn and Trevitt are never predictable in their choices of collaborators, giving us the first UK commission for Chinese choreographer Xie Xin. Her piece Ripple would probably have benefitted from being seen live (or at least on a large screen with the lights off), being all about tapping into an energy state, a continuous ebb and flow of rolling tides, the dancers crossing each other’s paths like warp and weft to the raw strings and electronics of Shaofeng Jiang’s score.
Maxine Doyle’s Bradley 4.18 fares well on screen. Renowned as the choreographer behind immersive theatre megastars Punchdrunk, it’s great to see Doyle’s work stand by itself. Rather than a free-roaming experience, there’s focus with just one camera, and it’s beautifully shot and framed (great lighting too, from Andrew Ellis).
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