BRITAIN’S BALLETBOYZ RETURN WITH NEW PROGRAM FEATURING 10 CHARISMATIC MALE DANCERS.
THRILLINGLY TALENTED BALLETBOYZ, FROM GREAT BRITAIN, RETURN TO WHITE BIRD
WITH A TWO-PART PROGRAM, BY ACCLAIMED CHOREOGRAPHERS PONTUS LIDBERG
AND JAVIER DE FRUTOS, REFLECTING A HUMOROUS AND MOVING LOOK AT LIFE.
What: BalletBoyz®, Life.—Works by Pontus Lidberg and Javier de Frutos
Presented by: White Bird
When: Tuesday & Wednesday, Jan 24-25, 2017, 7:30 pm
Where: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway/Main, Portland,
Sponsors: Ken & Ann Edwards, The Oregonian
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.
“Bodies honed for heavy industry strut like Greek gods”
-The Independent (UK)
After their thrilling debut two years ago, White Bird welcomes the return of BalletBoyz® from Great Britain for two performances at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, January 24 and 25. They bring their compelling, new 80 minute program Life., featuring two major new works by acclaimed choreographers Pontus Lidberg and Javier de Frutos. Ten immensely gifted male dancers, guided by former Royal Ballet stars Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, will display great physicality and lyricism in an evening that offers a humorous and powerful look at life.
In Fall 2014, White Bird presented the Portland debut of BalletBoyz, performing memorable works Serpent and Fallen by British choreographers, Liam Scarlett and Russell Maliphant. Back by popular demand, BalletBoyz’ exciting all-male company will perform their newest program, the provocative and compelling Life.
Life. is a tribute to the tensions between life and death, the real and the imagined, the heartbreaking and the absurd. Pontus Lidberg’s Rabbit opens the evening, exploring life in a lighter perspective. The piece touches on themes of loneliness and runs deep with layered emotions as relationships between the dancers form and develop. Images of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland are cleverly evoked through Edwardian costuming coupled with a multiplicity of dancers in rabbit masks. In stark contrast, the second half, Javier de Frutos’ Fiction reflects life’s darker side of grief and death, yet is leavened through comic moments as Frutos imagines and stages his own death. The choreography increases in complexity through the dancers’ intricately braided and swinging movements on the ballet barre used on stage. As the work progresses, grief is revealed to the audience in many forms.
Pontus Lidberg trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School and holds an MFA in Contemporary Performing Arts from the University of Gothenburg. He has been applauded for his dance film The Rain, for which he received numerous awards. As a choreographer for the stage, Lidberg has created more than 40 works for major international dance companies such as Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, SemperOper Ballet Dresden, The Royal Swedish Ballet, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, The Royal Danish Ballet, Beijing Dance Theatre, and Morphoses, as well as for his own concert group, Pontus Lidberg Dance. He was nominated for a New York Dance and Performance Award in Outstanding Visual Design, for his dance and film evening WITHIN (Labyrinth Within) — created during his 2012 tenure as Resident Artistic Director of Morphoses. His film Labyrinth Within won Best Picture at Lincoln Center’s Dance on Camera Festival in 2012.
Javier de Frutos trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance and the Merce Cunningham School, New York. In 1994 he established the Javier de Frutos Dance Company which toured to great acclaim around the world. He was among the first to be made a Fellow of The Arts Council of England and represented Britain at the Venice Biennale with a trilogy of his work. Javier’s film and TV credits include the Turner prize nominated The Long Road. His work is in the repertoire of many ballet and contemporary dance companies, including Rotterdam Dance Group, Ballet Shindowski, Nuremberg Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Candoco, The Royal Ballet and Gothenburg Ballet. His theatre credits include Carousel (Chichester Festival Theatre) Death and the King’s Horseman (National Theatre) and the acclaimed West End and touring productions of Cabaret for which he won the 2007 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer. He has been nominated for Olivier Awards on numerous occasions: for Elsa Canasta, Milagros and London Road. Javier’s recent collaboration with Pet Shop Boys The Most Incredible Thing earned Javier, Neil Tennant and Chris Rowe the 2011 Evening Standard Theatre Award, and a further nomination in 2012 from the Critics Circle as Best Choreographer. Javier recently choreographed Everyman for the National Theatre.
Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, Artistic Directors of BalletBoyz®, met when they were dancers with the Royal Ballet. During their 12 years with the company they danced all the principal male roles in Romeo & Juliet, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Mayerling and many more and created roles for choreographers Kenneth MacMillan, Twyla Tharp, David Bintley, Christopher Wheeldon and more. They co-founded BalletBoyz® in 2001 and immediately made a huge impact on the dance scene. Since then BalletBoyz® has become one of the UK’s top five dance companies, making exciting, entertaining, award-winning art for stage and screen. The company tours nationally and internationally; their increasing number of awards include the Olivier for ‘Broken Fall’ (2004), the Rose d’Or and International Emmy (‘Strictly Bolshoi’ 2007), Golden Prague Grand Prix (BalletBoyz: The Rite of Spring 2010), and the 2013 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Company. BalletBoyz have pioneered the use of film and technology in performance, and in 2016 will be the first dance company to release a full length feature film.
White Bird’s 19th season (2016-17) is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County and the Arts Education & Access Fund; Work for Art; The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Ronni Lacroute/WillaKenzie Estate, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, Starseed Foundation, WESTAF and The Autzen Foundation.