If anyone still thinks ballet is just for girls, they clearly have yet to see BalletBoyz. The all-male troupe has toured the world, gaining a reputation for its athletic, innovative performances. In the two-part show Life, now touring North America, the crew of 10 men is at its finest, creating a show that displays their strength, control and power.
In the first act, called “Rabbit,” renowned choreographer Pontus Lidberg creates a twilight-hued dreamscape against which the performers dance. Some of the troupe appear as men, but other members wear life-like rabbit masks. Though much of the first half of the performance is deep and contemplative, there are lighter moments that involve comedic jumps and skips.
The second act that follows, “Fiction” by Javier de Fruto, works on a darker theme, creating a wake for his own imagined death. The dancers convey grief and mourning as they process de Fruto’s career – including both high and lows – and his death. A barre is featured in the center of the stage, creating an anchor for a piece that could otherwise lack stability.
Combined, the two acts celebrate life’s absurdity through the physical and artistic expression that is the practice of ballet.
Critics and audience members alike have celebrated the originality and performance value of the show. In the North American tour, ballet lovers across the country can snag tickets to see these talented men perform live on stage, showing off the exquisite new choreography of Lidberg and de Fruto.
Cast and crew introduction
The London-based BalletBoyz was founded in 2001 by two principal dancers of the Royal Ballet, William Trevitt and Michael Nunn. Both men continue to work with the group as choreographers to this day.
Though Trevitt and Nunn do create choreography for the troupe, the Life tour is the work of celebrated choreographers Pontus Lidberg and Javier de Fruto, both of whom have earned international reputations for their art. The two designed the show around music created by Henryk Gorecki and Ben Foskett.
The show is powered by a cast comprised of 10 talented dancers. The current roster is as follows:
BalletBoyz’s Life tour began in 2016 and is expected to run through the end of May 2017. Along the way it will stop in many North American cities, including a highly-anticipated appearance in Palm Desert, California. Other cities on the tour include Victoria, British Columbia; Portland, Oregon; Long Beach, California; Fresno, California and Modesto, California.
During its run in Palm Desert, California, BalletBoyz will perform at the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts. The venue, which is located on the edge of College of the Desert, has a capacity of 1,127. The seats are divided between premier, orchestra, rear orchestra, founders level and balcony levels. Those interested in tickets can also purchase box seats.
The Life tour is in full swing, delighting audiences with its unique choreography and sheer athleticism. BalletBoyz has received rave reviews from critics in both the U.K. and U.S. in 2016:
“Lidberg’s slapstick choreography had the audience in fits of giggles and gives the BalletBoyz the perfect environ in which to showcase their agility and athleticism. ‘Rabbit’ isn’t as stirring as ‘Fiction’ but together, this is a powerhouse double bill that reminds us of the absurdity of life.” – The Telegraph
“Lidberg’s choreography favors high-contact partnering and low, grounded movements that expand into melting, sinuous lines. It is physically demanding, but never showy, and structurally and musically sophisticated. The style works beautifully on the BalletBoyz: refreshingly, it puts their physical prowess to the service of their considerable artistic gifts. Restraint is a good look for them.” – The Huffington Post
“De Frutos has a witty way with this theme of self-examination and a quizzical attitude that make intriguing sense, and his dancers respond with fizzing physical resource. They look tremendous. They are tremendous. The whispers of emotion, the tiny physical dramas that engage them, add savour to a daring, skilled creation.” – Financial Times