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George Piper Dances - Boyz @ the Barbican

‘Mesmerics’, ‘Follow’, ‘Torsion'

by Cassandra

July 3, 2004 -- Barbican Centre, London.

There can have been few ballets that have had a TV series charting their creation, but those of us who have been watching “The Rough Guide to Choreography” have over the past weeks been following William Trevitt in his search for inspiration prior to producing his first choreographic opus. Boyz @ the Barbican was the culmination of his quest with his new work “Follow” taking to the stage.

A festive air seemed to prevail on Saturday evening, with the audience in the mood for a good time. The gala atmosphere was enhanced by the presence of Iestyn Edwards a.k.a. Madame Galina Korsakov, who opened the proceedings with Aurora’s solo from “The Sleeping Beauty” and a hilarious discourse about the superiority of Russian dance over the home grown variety; I particularly liked the joke of comparing the achievements of the Royal Ballet to those of Tim Henman.

The first danced item of the evening was Christopher Wheeldon’s beautiful “Mesmerics” danced to music by Phillip Glass; it is a work I seem to appreciate more every time I see it and perfectly illustrates Wheeldon’s ability to wed movement to music in the manner of the very finest of choreographers.

The evening was interspersed with the now familiar video diaries of Nunn and Trevitt as they seek advice from the likes of William Forsythe and Gillian Lynne. Lynne’s advice was perhaps the wisest as she reminded them to always acknowledge the needs of an audience and to engage the audience emotionally if possible. Back to the rehearsal room and Trevitt’s work is taking shape; it is to be in two sections the first performed by a couple who dance apart and the second by a couple who sustain contact throughout. As the film ends, the actual performance begins

“Follow” was so titled because of the ‘following’ of advice given during the run up to the work’s creation and there are clear signs that Trevitt’s exposure to Brazilian capoeira, made an impression, there are also traces of Russell Maliphant’s influence – hardly surprising as he is a choreographer who has collaborated so rewardingly with Nunn and Trevitt in the past.

For a first work, “Follow” was actually damned good. Trevitt has a good grasp of form and the two contrasting “movements” were complimentary while being totally different in concept. Whether this was a one off, or whether Trevitt has other ballets in him, it’s hard to tell; but this attractive piece is probably worth a second or even third viewing, which is so very rarely the case with first attempts.

Russell Maliphant’s “Torsion” rounded off the evening, a work that is tailor made for Nunn and Trevitt with its modern urban-style virtuosity. The final video of the Boyz suffering at a circus school was, as they pointed out themselves, a little gratuitous and came as something of an anti-climax but didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the evening.

Edited by Jeff.

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