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BalletBoyz announce Spring tour dates for Fourteen Days and Fallen

BalletBoyz. Fourteen-Days. Photo credit: Panayiotis Sinnos.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE international Emmy Award-winning, all-male dance company BalletBoyz have announced spring tour dates for their latest production Fourteen Days, which opened to acclaim at Sadler’s Wells in October 2017.

The new work from the recent Rose d’Or winners has been created by four internationally celebrated choreographers, alongside four eminent and completely different composers. It comprises of four short pieces, and will run alongside their previously acclaimed Fallen.

A co-production with Sadler’s Wells, and in association with artsdepot, Fourteen Days is on tour from April 19 to May 29, visiting Sadler’s Wells from April 26 to April 28, 2018.

The production will tour to Poole, Bristol, Darlington, Nottingham, Colchester, Shrewsbury, Reading, Wolverhampton, Cornwall, Worthing, Swindon and Wycombe as well as returning to Sadler’s Wells, where musicians will join the dancers on stage for three of the five pieces.

Choreographers Javier De Frutos (London Road), Craig Revel Horwood (West Side Story, Sunset Boulevard), Iván Pérez (Young Men) and Christopher Wheeldon (An American in Paris) have teamed up with composers Scott Walker, Charlotte Harding, Joby Talbot and Keaton Henson, with each pair given just fourteen days to work with the ensemble to create the new pieces.

Playing with the concept of balance and imbalance, the result is an exciting and varied programme of dance and music in BalletBoyz’s inimitable style.

Fallen forms the second half of the evening, choreographed by regular BalletBoyz collaborator and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant (Broken Fall), and set to a powerful score by French film composer Armand Amar. Fallen won the award for Best Modern Choreography at the 2013 National Dance Awards.

Javier De Frutos was born in Caracas and trained at London School of Contemporary Dance and the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York. As director, choreographer and designer, his international creations and collaborations have encompassed a variety of different disciplines and scales. He is one of only three artists in the history of the Olivier Awards to have received nominations in all dance categories.

In 2000, De Frutos became one of the first recipients of an Arts Council Fellowship, through which he studied the works of Tennessee Williams. He recently won the Chita Rivera Award for his choreography of the film London Road. He previously worked with BalletBoyz when he choreographed ‘Fiction’ for Life.

Craig Revel Horwood is Australian-British dancer, choreographer and theatre director. Having performed across Europe as a singer, dancer and actor, he is most famous for his judging role on Strictly Come Dancing. He has also choreographed and directed many shows in the West End including West Side Story and Sunset Boulevard, and has worked with BalletBoyz Artistic Directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt in the past.

Iván Pérez is a Spanish choreographer based in the Netherlands. He has formerly danced with Netherlands Dance Theater (NDT) and IT Dansa, and received his degree in Performing Arts from the University Rey Juan Carlos. He won the award for ‘Best Interpretation’ during the ‘International Choreography Competition’ New York-Burgos and was nominated for the ‘Swan Best Dancer’ for his role in Indigo Rose by Jiří Kylián (2006). Previously he has worked with BalletBoyz choreographing Young Men.

Christopher Wheeldon is a British choreographer who trained at The Royal Ballet School and danced with the Company between 1991 and 1993. In 2007, he founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and became the first British choreographer to create a new work for the Bolshoi Ballet. His awards include the Tony Award for Best Choreography for An American in Paris, and he was made an OBE in 2016. Wheeldon has worked with BalletBoyz on numerous occasions in the past, including Mesmerics.

Russell Maliphant is a British choreographer who trained at the Royal Ballet School and graduated into Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet before leaving to pursue a career in independent dance. In April 2000, he received an Arts Council Fellowship. In 2003, he created Broken Fall with Sylvie Guillem and George Piper Dances (now BalletBoyz). Broken Fall premiered at the Royal Opera House in December 2003 and won an Olivier Award. Rise and Fall – an evening of work at Sadler’s Wells including Broken Fall – was awarded a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Choreography (Modern) in 2006.

Scott Walker is an American-born British singer-songwriter, composer and record producer. He is noted for his distinctive baritone voice and for the unorthodox career path that has taken him from 1960s pop icon to 21st-century avant-garde musician. Walker’s success has largely been in the United Kingdom, where his first three solo albums reached the top ten. Walker has lived in the UK since 1965; he became a British citizen in 1970.

Charlotte Harding graduated from the Royal College of Music, London with a first class honours degree. On graduating, she won the prestigious Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother Rosebowl, presented by HRH Prince Charles. She is passionate about the role music can play in both health and education. She is currently an accompanist with BalletBoyz, working for the Parkinson’s CAN Dance classes. She has also been involved in leading and assisting educational workshops for BBC Symphony Orchestra and Teenage Cancer Trust.

Joby Talbot was born in Wimbledon, and studied composition at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College. Talbot’s diverse output has included a 60-minute a cappella choral journey along the Camino de Santiago for Nigel Short’s Tenebrae (Path of Miracles, 2005) and a co-production between The Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Canada, Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011).

Talbot also has considerable experience writing for the screen, including The League of Gentlemen and the feature film The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005). His latest film score is for Sing, the latest animation from Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions) and writer-director Garth Jennings, released December 2016.

Keaton Henson is an English folk rock musician, visual artist and poet from London. Henson has released six studio albums and his music video for Charon was shortlisted for a UK MVA award in Best Budget Indie/Rock Category. Small Hands won Best Music Video at the Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival in 2012. In November 2012, Henson designed a t-shirt for the Yellow Bird Project to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. He also composed the score for the multi-award-winning film Young Men by BalletBoyz and BBC 2.

Armand Amar is a French composer living in Paris. In 1976, he met South African choreographer Peter Goss, who introduced him to dance. In subsequent years he worked with a number of choreographers in contemporary dance. His works are focused particularly on Eastern music and he is the author of several ballets and soundtracks films.

The current BalletBoyz Company includes: Harry Price, Marc Galvez, Simone Donati, Edward Pearce, Matthew Sandiford, Flavien Esmieu, Bradley Waller and newcomers Edd Arnold and Sean Flanagan.

Image: BalletBoyz. Fourteen-Days. Photo credit: Panayiotis Sinnos.