BalletBoyz from the UK Brings 10 Extraordinary Male Dancers to Portland
WHITE BIRD BRINGS GREAT BRITAIN’S FAMED COMPANY BALLETBOYZ® TO
ARLENE SCHNITZER CONCERT HALL FOR TWO NIGHTS.
WINNER OF 2013 UK CRITICS CIRCLE NATIONAL DANCE AWARD, COMPANY SHOWCASES
10 EXTRAORDINARY MALE DANCERS IN TWO WORKS BY FAMED BRITISH CHOREOGRAPHERS
LIAM SCARLETT AND RUSSELL MALIPHANT.
When: Tuesday and Wednesday, November 11 and 12, 2014, 7:30 pm
Where: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway & Main, Portland
Tickets: Starting at $26, available at whitebird.org and Portland’5 Box Office
1111 SW Broadway (formerly PCPA) NO added fees.
1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).
Discounts available for groups/students and seniors.
Sponsors: Marc Walters, Gary Nelson & Minh Tran
Media Sponsor: The Oregonian
“Sensitivity and strength combined with grace and muscularity.” The Times (London)
The White Bird Dance Series is excited to present the Pacific Northwest debut of Britain’s award-winning BalletBoyz® for two nights at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, November 11 and 12. Formed in 2001, BalletBoyz® is the brainchild of former Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt and has received worldwide acclaim for performances marked by ferocity, strength and determination, as well as tremendous elegance and poise. Now entering its second decade, Nunn and Trevitt have re-energized the BalletBoyz® dynamic by selecting and training 10 young male dancers from all walks of life. They named their new project BalletBoyz®: The Talent, and last year they were awarded the 2013 UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Dance Company. BalletBoyz®: The Talent, will perform a highly athletic and emotional program comprising two dance pieces by outstanding British choreographers Liam Scarlett and Russell Maliphant.
In 2010, with the end of their own performing careers approaching, Nunn and Trevitt made a drastic decision. Encouraged by the success of their community projects with boys and young men – which showed that raw talent, set in the right direction, can often trump formal training – they held a series of open auditions in the UK. The young men they selected, ages 20 to 25, came from a wide range of dance backgrounds; one had no formal experience at all. Nunn and Trevitt knew they had valuable knowledge to impart, and “like a mother hen who imprints on the chicks as they hatch,” Billy Trevitt stated at the time, “we wanted to have the first go at molding them.” This has resulted in a company of exceptional male dancers receiving critical acclaim and selling out in the UK wherever they have performed. The Guardian has called BalletBoyz®: The Talent, “a paradox of muscular impact and weightless flight,” The Telegraph, “viscerally thrilling,” and The Times (London) “an adrenaline rush.”
The BalletBoyz® program will open with Serpent by Liam Scarlett, former dancer with the Royal Ballet and recently appointed the Royal’s first Artist in Residence. The 30-minute Serpent is an excellent introduction to the company in that it showcases the male dancers’ dazzling fluidity and strength. Dressed in flesh-colored leggings, they move snakelike around one another, slithering and sliding, each dancer offering a counterweight to another dancer or group of dancers. The program culminates in a 30-minute work by Russell Maliphant, Fallen. Maliphant is one of the UK’s most prolific and acclaimed choreographers, whose company White Bird Uncaged will present in January 2015. In Fallen, the dancers suggest a military troop, dressed in combat trousers and vests. The work begins with a striking double circle of men, each circle moving in the opposite direction, evoking the machinery of army combatants. Themes of falling and rising run throughout the work, which climaxes thrillingly with the men literally running toward and up each other, landing solidly on their feet.
Michael Nunn (Co-Artistic Director) was born in London and trained at the Bush Davies School and the Royal Ballet Upper School. He joined The Royal Ballet in 1987 and was promoted to First Soloist in 1997 before returning as Guest Principal for the 2004 Season. William ‘Billy’ Trevitt (Co-Artistic Director) was born in Cambridge and trained at The Royal Ballet School and joined The Royal Ballet in 1987. He was promoted to Principal in 1994 and also returned as Guest Principal for the 2004 Season. During their 12 years at The Royal Ballet between them, Nunn and Trevitt danced all the Principal roles. In 2000 they co-founded BalletBoyz, and the company was nominated for the 2001 and 2003 South Bank Show dance awards. In 2002 Michael and William devised Critics Choice which was awarded the Theatrical Management Association award for outstanding achievement in dance. The Company’s commission Broken Fall – a trio for Nunn, Trevitt and French Prima Ballerina Sylvie Guillem – was awarded the 2004 Laurence Olivier award for best new dance production. In 2005, BalletBoyz became Associate Artists at Sadler’s Wells, London’s leading dance house. Regular seasons at Sadler’s Wells followed with shows Naked (2005), Encore (2006) and Greatest Hits! (2008).
2010 saw the first edition of BalletBoyz’ groundbreaking new project THE TALENT. Now in its fourth year, the company tours the UK and internationally. In 2012 they crossed the Atlantic to make A Chance to Dance, a seven-part TV series for US network Ovation co-produced by Nigel Lythgoe. In 2012 and 2013 BalletBoyz produced over 40 short films for Channel 4 in the UK. BalletBoyz®: The Talent, consists of the following dancers: Andrea Carrucciu (Italy), Simone Donati (Italy), Flavien Esmieu (France), Marc Galvez (France), Adam Kirkham (UK), Edward Pearce (UK), Leon Poulton (UK), Matthew Rees (UK), Matthew Sandiford (UK), and Bradley Waller (UK).
White Bird’s 2014-15 season is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Work for Art, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), The Autzen Foundation, and The Boeing Company.