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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2002 12:53 am 
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George Piper Dances
By Kelly Aptor for The Scotsman

ONE OF the drawbacks of the Royal Ballet never venturing north of the border is that Scottish audiences rarely get the chance to see dancers of jaw-dropping ability. Well now we have. Michael Nunn and William Trevitt founded George Piper Dances after their dramatic departure from the Royal in 1999, captured in the Channel 4 documentary, The Ballet Boyz. They also enlisted former Royal Ballet-turned-Rambert boy Matthew Hart and former Royal Ballet soloist Leire Ortueta.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 2:57 am 
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One for the squealing teens...
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent

When ex-Royal Ballet dancers William Trevitt and Michael Nunn announced their plan to take challenging modern ballet to the provinces, the dance world was sceptical. At a time when big hitters in the metropolis find contemporary stuff hard to sell, what hope for a five-strong troupe trekking round the kind of theatres that share a car park with Toys R Us? Twelve months on, George Piper Dances is not only still alive but kicking very handsomely. What's more, to judge by the audience I joined in suburban West Sussex, it seems to have cracked the hardest nut of all: it has found a youth market for classical dance. At least half the crowd in Crawley appeared to be under 16. And during the applause my ears did not deceive me. Some of those girls were squealing.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2002 8:47 am 
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Boyz and whirls
By Ellie Carr for The Sunday Herald


If George Piper Dances -- aka TV's Ballet Boyz -- have one thing it's attitude. Anyone who leaves the relatively safe cocoon of the Royal Ballet to set up a small-scale modern dance company needs a fair bit of it. And anyone who makes a warts-and-all video diary (which later turns into a hit TV series) about their crisis-ridden employer as they back out of the door needs it in spades.
Michael Nunn and William Trevitt (respectively first soloist and principal at the Royal Ballet until their dramatic double exit in 1999) don't just have attitude: they have charisma too. They also happen to be a pair of brilliant, sensitive performers as well as bold programmers of decidedly non-frightening, classy modern dance.

Not every aspect of the five-strong company's programme is a success. Five works by separate choreographers is a lot to absorb. And on the second night in Glasgow, the bill's inclusion of Charles Lineham's movingly understated Truly Great Thing and an equally muted Critical Mass by Russell Maliphant (also ex-Royal Ballet) is an aesthetic coincidence too far.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 10:06 am 
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The Ballet Boyz perform in Edinburgh on April 5th and 6th. Here are two articles in connection wit the visit:

Badly paid pipers call the tune
By Louise Rimmer for The Scotsman

EVERY now and again a fly-on-the-wall documentary comes along that reminds you just how compulsive the genre can be, especially if it takes place outside of driving schools, cruise-liners and Liverpool airport. The Ballet Boyz was one such gem. Filmed during an elaborate game of musical chief-executives, it was a face-reddening exposé of incompetence at the Royal Opera House and charted a homeless Royal Ballet with sinking morale.

The real joy, of course, was that it was filmed by two of their dancers. William Trevitt and Michael Nunn - or hey kids! The Ballet Boyz - were quickly dubbed the Jamie Olivers of dance; flamboyantly heterosexual and daringly unpretentious, they would puff on cheeky fags while dressed in spangly tights.

The first series ended with the popping of champagne corks and six resignations. Nunn and Trevitt finally gave a tutu-fingered salute to the stifling world of Sleeping Beauty and made a sharp exit to a rock star life in Japan.

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*******************************************

Instant karma
MICHAEL NUNN under the spotlight

Michael is a former member of the Royal Ballet and the director of the Ballet Boyz documentaries. His new company, George Piper Dances, performs at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on 5 and 6 February

Feel the burn or yogic breathing?

I’ve felt the burn my whole career. I think it’s time I investigated the art of yogic breathing.

Long, hot bath or ice-cold shower?

You’re kidding - I can’t walk, never mind dance, unless a hot bath is involved.

Tourist or traveller?

Traveller. I’ve never had the time to be a tourist. But I reckon I could write a good guide to dancers’ dressing-rooms around the world.

Half-empty or half-full?

Half-empty. I’m afraid I always expect the worst. Anything beyond that is a bonus.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 8:35 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Locker room with William Trevitt
William Trevitt, 33, is married with three sons and lives in Surrey. He is performing in George Piper Dances on Wednesday and Thursday at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre. In Scotland on Sunday.

Q. How often/long do you work out?

A. When we’re in rehearsal we do a daily ballet class for around an hour and a half, and rehearsals of five or six hours. We rehearse five days a week. When we are performing we do the same class, but take it a bit easier until the show.

Q. When do you work out?

A. Michael Nunn (co-director) and I play badminton when we’re not in the studio. It comes closest to reproducing the type of fitness needed to dance.

Q. Group classes or solo sweating?

A. The company does morning class together and then often splits up for rehearsals.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 8:36 am 
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I'm delighted that George Piper Dances is getting so much preview coverage for their Scottish visit:

Boyz 'n' the tutu
By Rory Ford for The Scotsman

REALITY TV shows, dontcha hate them? The "celebrities" they create are manufactured, bland and, in terms of artistic merit, generally several notches beneath someone who rose to the top of their profession through hard work.

Well, that’s true most of the time, anyway. Michael Nunn and William Trevitt may have burst onto the national consciousness through their two Ballet Boyz series of documentaries for Channel 4 but at the time the first one was screened they were already enjoying adulation far beyond the dreams of most dancers.

In 1998 Both Nunn and Trevitt were leading dancers at the Royal Ballet, which was then in a state of flux. As the Royal Ballet waited for its Royal Opera House base to be remodelled whispered threats of redundancies became ever louder and Nunn and Trevitt, tired of dancing the same old lead roles in the same old classical ballets exited stage left taking four other dancers with them to form their own company.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 6:14 am 
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Intimate pieces show big thinking
By THOM DIBDIN for The Scotsman

THE Ballet Boyz are back in town. And this time they mean modern business with a fiery programme of short works which is as illuminating as it is irritating.

This is passionate stuff, performed with the sort of energy that the big touring classical ballet companies can only ever dream about. And yet GPD’s dancer/directors, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, are joined by only two other dancers.

The pieces might not be huge spectacles, packed with the lush flowing rhythms of narrative ballet, but that has not stopped the company from thinking big. And while each of the four scintillating pieces demands a more intimate setting, annoyingly, each also requires the large stage space given by the Festival Theatre.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 7:22 am 
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The boyz are back in town
If you haven't heard of George Piper Dances yet, says Jenny Gilbert, where have you been? For The Independent on Sunday

There's cheek, and there's brazen cheek. And giving your latest programme the title Critics' Choice ***** is about as brazen as it gets. But then ex-Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt have been trading on their brand of raffish irreverence ever since charming their way on to Channel 4 as the Ballet Boyz in 1999. In two series of video diaries, they did for the grand jeté what Jamie Oliver did for salsa verde. They de-mystified the workings of classical dance by giving it a human face in need of a shave, and they gave a cheerful two-finger salute to any lingering suspicion about men in tights.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 2:12 am 
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Seems like the Ballet Boyz have a big hit on their hands:

Feral grace and thuggish finesse
Luke Jennings for The Daily Telegraph reviews George Piper Dances

Four years after its founders' departure from the Royal Ballet, George Piper Dances is becoming one of the UK's sharpest-edged performance companies. Sensibly, and with no sense of anything lost, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt have shaved the ensemble down to four: themselves, the Kiev-trained Oxana Panchenko, and ex-Royal and Rambert dancer Matthew Hart.

GPD's new programme is the larkily named Critics' Choice *****, with each of the five stars referring to a 10-minute piece custom-made for the company by a well-known choreographer. Akram Khan offers Red or White, a meditation on freedom and control in dance. To a sawing score by the sound artist mukul, and with their arms knotting and unknotting like a conjuror's rope, Hart and Trevitt prove themselves cool exponents of Khan's fusion style.

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************************************

George Piper Dances
By Debra Craine for The Times


IT ALL started with Desert Island Discs. If Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, aka Channel 4’s Ballet Boyz, were asked to choose their five favourite choreographers, who would they be? We’ve all played the Radio 4 castaways game in our heads, but Nunn and Trevitt didn’t stop there. They decided to ask their top five to work with George Piper Dances, the pair’s innovative dance troupe. And amazingly, all five said yes.

The result, dubbed Critics’ Choice *****, is an exceptional and hugely enjoyable adventure that brings together some of the most exciting names in British choreography. You couldn’t do better than Matthew Bourne, Michael Clark, Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Christopher Wheeldon all in a single night. It’s a dream ticket.

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******************************

Critics' Choice
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

When a show signals its own five-star rating, a critic cannot help but argue. But what is interesting about this performance is not the numbers, but the fact that the work comes so triumphantly close to being George Piper Dances' company manifesto.

Michael Nunn and William Trevitt founded GPD to spread their wings as dancers and to open up their art to a larger public. By any measure, Critics' Choice is as spacious and various as they could have hoped. Five of the world's most interesting choreographers have contributed a short item to the project, and the company get to dance the stylistic gamut, from kathak to classical ballet, from abstract movement to dance theatre.

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<small>[ 27 March 2003, 03:16 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 5:23 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Tickets are going fast for George Piper at the QEH. Saturday now has very limited availablility and for Thursday and Friday only the Rear Stalls are still available.

If you want to go the message is book fast to get as good a seat as possible:

Here is the information page on the sbc website.

and here is the box office info:

020 7960 4242
Open 9am - 8pm, Monday – Sunday

<small>[ 27 March 2003, 06:24 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 3:29 am 
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Piper lets artists call the tune
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times


It's a saucy title - Critics' Choice ***** - but, for once, exact. George Piper Dances (props. Michael Nunn and William Trevitt: a.k.a.The Ballet Boyz) has had another Good Idea, and the chaps seem to specialise in these, as their past three years' work has shown. The ensemble is small - in the Queen Elizabeth Hall show this week they are joined by Oxana Panchenko and Matthew Hart - the ambitions splendid and splendidly realised. Design defined by light; five new pieces from British choreographers; video interviews as programme notes; brevity; stunning performance; enterprise in pushing forward the boundaries of dance. The result absolutely justifies the show's accolade. I found it - with one midget reservation - a wonderful evening, enlivening and prophetic.

The premise is that the Boyz approached five choreographers, offered them a week's rehearsal to make about three minutes of dance using whatever score or theme was of interest, and filmed passages of rehearsal and explanatory chat to provide illumination for the audience.

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<small>[ 17 July 2003, 11:23 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 8:01 am 
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Ballet Boyz back in town
By Kevin Bourke for Manchester online


HOT on the heels of their successful 2002 tour, the "Jamie Olivers of dance" are dancing their way back to The Lowry

George Piper Dances’ programme includes the regional premiere of their eagerly-awaited piece, Critics' Choice, which boasts contributions from a stellar line-up of choreographers including Michael Clark, Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Christopher Wheeldon.

The programme also includes Maliphant's Torsion, an adrenalin-fuelled tussle of lifts and counter-balances, while the evening will also feature some "fly-on-the-wall" footage of the boys arriving, setting up and even a little bit of what they get up to backstage!

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 2:49 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
FINE BALANCING ACT
George Piper Dances (aka the Ballet
Boyz) has gathered the crème de la
crème of the choreographic world
for Critic’s Choice★★★★★, as
JUDITH MACKRELL explains for The South Bank Magazine

George Piper Dances has never been short of a good
wheeze to publicise itself. Michael George Nunn
and William Piper Trevitt (who set up GPD after
leaving the Royal Ballet) have documented their careers in
brash, colourful detail for two film series for Channel 4,
which gave them their television pseudonym, the Ballet
Boyz. They have booked their company to dance at
Repton’s Boys Club (the famous East End boxing studio)
and at the Roundhouse. Now with their new project
Critic’s Choice★★★★★, to be premiered this month on the
South Bank, they are throwing down the gauntlet to any
reviewer who’s ever demurred over their choice of repertory
or questioned the wisdom of their departure from the Royal.

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***********************************

West meets East
The Ballet Boyz continue to beguile. Reviewed by Jann Parry for The Observer.

Respect! Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, Channel 4's cheeky Ballet Boyz, have earned their stars as major movers in the dance firmament. They launched the latest tour by their small company, George Piper Dances, by asking five of the hottest choreographers around to produce works for them.

All five delivered - and agreed to be videoed in the process. (Michael Clark's initial protests at the camera's intrusion make some of the most revealing footage.) The result is a 50-minute collage of choreography and comment, entitled Critics' Choice***** . It forms the first part of the performance, followed by Russell Maliphant's Torsion, created for Trevitt and Nunn last year. Brief as they are, the new works provide a snapshot of the different choreographers' approaches.

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***********************************

Double diamond
George Piper Dances have real star quality, says David Dougill for The Sunday Times


You might think it not only cheeky but also risky for a contemporary-dance company to plan a new piece with the title Critics’ Choice . What if it were given a resounding thumbs down? But George Piper Dances, the very individual troupe that is the brainchild of William Trevitt and Michael Nunn — well known as the Ballet Boyz from their Channel 4 video diaries — have come up with a format for this unusual work, premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Tuesday and now touring, that certainly gripped their audience.

Instead of commissioning a new dance from a single choreographer, they invited five notable creators who work in different styles to contribute a section each — the stage dances interspersed with filmed rehearsal sequences and interviews to illustrate their working methods.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 3:25 am 
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They're hip, they're available and they're dancing up your street
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent on Sunday

There is nothing on earth more boring than the highbrow/lowbrow debate. Almost everyone who works in performance knows the truth of the matter: that it is possible to do quality work and appeal to a wide audience if only you hit the right formula. If only, if only. Few ever do.

But if the roar of consent at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last week is anything to go by, two breakaways from the Royal Ballet have cracked it. Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, Channel 4's "Ballet Boyz" and now performers, co-directors and impresarios with their own company, George Piper Dances, have tapped into the zeitgeist like none other in a decade of dance. What makes this remarkable is that their latest programme, confidently titled Critics' Choice *****, is dominated by the kind of abstract contemporary ballet that would normally be seen as difficult – inaccessible to all but furrow-browed dance geeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 2:39 am 
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Review from The Independent.

Quote:
Our two favourite Ballet Boyz, Mike and Billy, have devised a cheeky and clever title for their latest venture. Critics' Choice ***** may pre-empt a reviewer's verdict, but it also deftly mirrors the principles employed in the piece's commissioning: five starry choreographers, each invited to make a piece of about five minutes. The result is a choreographic smorgasbord of delicious morsels, ensuring maximum variety for a company – George Piper Dances – whose small, quartet size could otherwise produce the opposite effect.

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