Balletboyz: Them/Us @ Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

The newest creation from Balletboyz looks at human connection and explores how we see ourselves

Review by Lynn Rusk | 26 Feb 2019

Them/Us is the newest creation by the internationally acclaimed and Olivier award-winning all-male company of seven classically trained dancers Balletboyz. The show presents a double bill of new work and explores where we see ourselves in relation to ‘the other’.  

The first piece, Them, is a collaborative work choreographed by the Balletboyz themselves celebrating the individuality and versatility of each dancer. Set to the score of emerging composer Charlotte Harding, Them has a very urban vibe to it, the dancers dressed in colourful tracksuits with elements of their movements reminiscent of parkour. They use a rectangular iron box as a prop which they swing, perch and balance off, demonstrating their sheer strength and agility. Lighting designer Andrew Ellis must be commended for the stunning colours and visuals in this piece.

Us looks at human connection, switching to a more classical tone with the dancers dressed in muted grey suits. Inspired by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s duet which featured in the company’s last show, Fourteen Days, and set to an extended score by cult singer/songwriter Keaton Henson, Wheeldon develops the original further and fills in the gaps in the story before it. Partnered up with Henson’s beautiful music this duet is just heavenly – the tender and intimate performance by the two dancers will make you swoon. At a time in which we are challenging gender stereotypes, Balletboyz could not be more relevant. [Lynn Rusk]