Ballet Boyz in Russell Maliphant's 'Fallen'
Ballet Boyz in Russell Maliphant's 'Fallen'

Ballet Boyz @ Theatre Royal

3/5 stars
Review by Eric Karoulla.
Published 02 December 2013

While on tour, the Ballet Boyz bring the Talent - co-produced by Sadler's Wells – to Glasgow. Having split their show into two parts, each part for a different choreographer, it becomes obvious very quickly that the Ballet Boyz wish to demonstrate their versatility. 

Part one, choreographed by Liam Scarlett, is called Serpent. True to its name, it involves fluid, slithering movements, accompanied by Max Richter's score. Nonetheless, aside from a few repetitions that become tiresome and the occasional lack of timing as an ensemble, Scarlett's choice of not portraying the all-male dance troupe as a brutal mob but rather giving them a sensual, fluid – at times almost sexual – aesthetic is an interesting one. Admittedly however, the dancers' partial nudity felt superfluous and did not add anything to the dancing.

On the other hand, Fallen - part two of this show – is a step in the opposite direction. Brutal, almost industrial, Russell Maliphant's choreography excites and is supplemented with a sense of danger from Armand Amar's music. Again, there is repetition that seems excessive at certain points, but the underlying ferocity in the ensemble's actions is hard to ignore.

While the troupe is called the Ballet Boyz, this show seems to indicate the ten-strong dance troupe are poking at a more experimental definition of ballet and contemporary dance, based on their separate skillsets and strengths rather than a classical-based technical approach. This is definitely a company to watch out for. [Eric Karoulla]