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 Post subject: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 4:56 am 
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I've consolidated some of the George Piper Dances topics:

Quote:
Boys' video hits keep flame alive

By VALERIE LAWSON
The Sydney Morning Herald
January 14, 2004

She had travelled from Kiev, to London, to Munich, to Tokyo and was "thinking of giving up, when this came up".

This was the brave new venture, George Piper Dances, founded three years ago by the former Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt. The "ballet boyz", as they billed themselves, invited the beautiful, Russian-born Oxana Panchenko to join them.

Instead of retirement, Panchenko's career was reborn. With the new troupe she won a once-in-a-lifetime review.
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****************************

Up Close and Personal
Allen Robertson interviews the Ballet Boyz for South Bank Magazine

They didn’t think it up. In fact, they didn’t even like the name when it was first suggested. Yet, thanks to their fly-on-the-wall documentaries for Channel 4, William Trevitt and Michael Nunn have forever become The Ballet Boyz.
In some ways it’s appropriate that this moniker has stuck with them because one of the things that makes their company, George Piper Dances, stand out from the crowd is their continued creative role as film-makers.

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<small>[ 30 March 2004, 08:16 AM: Message edited by: Admin ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:28 am 
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Quote:
George Piper Dances

By KELLY APTER
The Scotsman
March 10, 2004

ONCE upon a time, William Trevitt and Michael Nunn had nice, secure jobs with the Royal Ballet. Then they turned a hand-held camera on the inner machinations of the Royal Opera House and became Channel 4’s Ballet Boyz. But their witty
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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 1:09 am 
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George Piper Dances, Theatre Royal, Glasgow
By MARY BRENNAN for The Herald (Glasgow)


Just in case you didn't know, George Piper Dances is the official name for those TV film-makers (and fugitives from the Royal Ballet) the Ballet Boyz. Ergo, you get two takes on dance for the price of one. When William Trevitt and Michael Nunn record a video diary of company events, it's really those jokey Ballet Boyz, puncturing the arty-farty image of classical dance and presenting George Piper Dances as thoroughly user-friendly.

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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 4:10 am 
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Boyz are back in town
Kelly Apter for The Sunday Times


George Piper Dances,
Theatre Royal, Glasgow,
Tuesday
Maybe it’s something in the water. Maybe it’s the ghosts of dancers past. Whatever the reason, the Royal Ballet has a lot to answer for. Not only is it revered as one of the finest ballet companies on the planet, but the impact it has on the international dance scene is phenomenal. Like six degrees of separation, all roads lead back to the Royal — if not to the company itself, then its associated school.

Two weeks ago, Glasgow audiences were treated to the wonders of the Michael Clark Company — vibrant proof of what a little Royal Ballet training can do. And less than a week later, we were again reminded what a hotbed of talent the Royal Opera House really is. Co-founders of George Piper Dances, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt (whose middle names provide the company’s title) both devoted 20 years of their lives to the Royal Ballet until, one day, they picked up a camcorder and changed their lives irrevocably.

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<small>[ 14 March 2004, 05:30 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 4:52 am 
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Quote:
Dance: George Piper Dances

By CLEMENT CRISP
The Finacial Times
March 25, 2004

The Ballet Boyz, known to the culture police as George Piper Dances from the middle names of Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, the onlie begetters, are on the South Bank this week.

Fine dancers, nice chaps, adventurous repertory, ...
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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:15 am 
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Quote:
Breaking the rules at bathtime

By ISMENE BROWN
The Daily Telegraph
March 25, 2004

Lovable lads and powerful dancers, George Piper Dances have set an innovative and encouraging example of what can happen when dancers seize the inititiave. Taste barriers dissolve in the hands of Michael Nunn and William Trevitt: a video of Trevitt nude in the bath teasingly working out his moves is winningly intercut with footage from a rehearsal with the famed William Forsythe.
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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:04 am 
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Location: London, England
George Piper Dances
Queen Elizabeth Hall
23-27 March 2004

It's often easy to forget that contemporary dancers have a sense of humour, but Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt’s video diaries, which intersperse the three pieces on tonight's programme, always raise a chuckle. Nevertheless, the cheeky knockabout charm of their camcorder exploits is a complete contrast to their serious stage personae. Whether the two sides of GPD will ever come together remains to be seen.

Perhaps it’s better this way, as who would want to taint the honesty and gravity of their dancing, beautifully exposed in Christopher Wheeldon’s Mesmerics. This is warm, captivating choreography with real emotional depth and the success of the piece owes a great deal to its soundtrack, music from Phillip Glass’s string quartets. With music as immediate, enveloping and soulful as this it would be hard not to be moved, but Wheeldon’s choreography also delivers. With a nod to the minimalist composer, Wheeldon makes use of repetitive movements, developing phrases on tilting frames, bodies winding and swirling in weighted circles, connected at the midriff, shadowed by dancers in the background.

A constant thread of movement swells in a very subtle crescendo with soft dives into forward rolls, long low leaps and lovely use of clear straight lines. There are some delicious moments – a lingering horizontal leg on a pirouette, the impeccably controlled tempo of a yo-yoing string of chainees - they don't need to shout about their technique, they just use it.

William Trevitt and Monica Zamora find an intense empathy in their duet, while Michael Nunn and Oxana Panchenko are more rhythmic but still tender. New addition Hubert Essakow blends in well and the only duo that doesn't gel is when the girls dance together.

In the preceding video diary, we see Wheeldon at work in the studio, watching the dancers on his laptop, replaying movements and making choreographic decisions on screen. It's clear how much the cut and paste culture of modern technology has influenced the making of dance, and as Glass's epic minimalism is sliced into exquisite excerpts, the dancers' solos, duets and trios also fade in and out in enticing vignettes.

Mesmerics is beautifully paced and structured, with only a glimpse of a climax when all five dancers move together in a canonic ripple. But although it leaves you longing for more, the piece draws to a close with a real sense of fulfilment.

There’s only one gripe about this piece, what with beautiful music and dance and intimate dim lighting, why did they have to wear such awful costumes? Black shiny lycra with red piping is not a good look, it is totally at odds with the feel of the piece. Save it for the Tour de France.

Mesmerics was runner up at the Laurence Olivier Awards but it was another of tonight’s pieces, Russell Maliphant’s Broken Fall which snatched the Best New Dance Production gong. In my mind the judges got it the wrong way round, but Broken Fall may have clinched the title because it was originally Sylvie Guillem who partnered the boys.

Guillem’s replacement Monica Zamora is perfectly able in the role but she doesn’t exert much presence. Manipulated by Nunn and Trevitt she provides a hinge and a plaything for the male dancers who set her up for a catalogue of acrobatic feats – falling ramrod straight into a horizontal catch, plummeting vertically through the air only to be caught inches from the floor, balancing on shoulders or palms of hands. But whereas you expect Guillem gave the impression that she was controlling time and gravity at her whim, Zamora is more the obedient conjurors assistant, and when a trick goes without a hitch there’s a feeling of relief rather than awe. In compete contrast to Mesmerics, Barry Adamson’s awful music takes all the pleasure from this piece. The score is a mess of plodding synth, echo-y effects and limp beats and detracts from all of Maliphant and GPD’s good work.

William Forsythe’s Approximate Sonata, I, V is the least engaging piece on show, but then that’s in keeping with his detached, deconstructed style. It opens with Hubert Essakow prowling slowly down the stage making silent snarls and giving the front rows a clear view of his tonsils. This odd little introduction gives way to a duet between Essakow and Panchenko that never really finds a connection. His quick twisty hips and puck-like scamper are interrupted by the petulant Panchenko. She’s impressive but I don’t find her a very likeable dancer – she’s all about her hyper-extensions – and while it’s all interesting enough to look at there’s little to really draw you in.

In all though, a fascinating and very enjoyable evening.


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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:24 am 
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Quote:
George Piper Dances
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

By JUDITH MACKRELL
The Guardian
March 27, 2004

When Broken Fall was premiered by the Royal Ballet last year, it was hard to separate the accompanying buzz from the excitement of Russell Maliphant's choreography.
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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 7:18 am 
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London - 30 03 04
I went to see George Piper Dances at the QEH last
Saturday. They are very nice people and very funny
with their videos. They are excellent dancers, we know that, but the programme of the evening included Forsythe's Approximate Sonata, I, V, wich, to my eyes, looked quite dated....all those movements where one hand moves the other arm and after a little while the other hand moves one leg. Those sort of movements are old and, really, do not say anything at all......what do you think about it?
Mesmerics by Wheeldon was fantastic and very new.

Broken Fall by Maliphant....if this is dance then anything is dance....even people walking in the street.
Shouldn't dance be something a little bit more....dancing?

Please reply, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:01 am 
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George Piper Dances, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

By JENNY GILBERT
The Independent
March 28, 2004

Everyone loves a winner-against-the-odds, and George Piper Dances, the sparky little outfit started by Channel 4's "ballet boyz", Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, has won more resoundingly than anyone thought possible. After three years GPD is little only in size.
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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:45 am 
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I heard a rumor that GPD were disbanding. Can this possibly be true?
If so, oh how I wish they would do a farewell tour including Washington DC.


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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:11 am 
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Corrival, from what I understand they are not disbanding for ever. At the last Friends rehearsal it was mentioned that they are hoping to re-develop the company ....but in the short term it means that they are letting their present dancers go. They hope to become a larger company when they re-group in the near future. Lets wish them lots of luck in the future, they have done so well in the last few years.


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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:38 am 
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Thank you RAK. Billy & Michael have been so successful in terms of putting together award-winning programs, I just hope they can be as successful (in all aspects) in their next venture. I know that as talented as all the dancers are they should have no trouble finding other positions. Oxana, especially, seemed to blossom in this small company setting.
I wish them all the best for the future.


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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 11:53 am 
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That's interesting, RAK. I hope I am proved wrong but disbanding the company or suspending for a season is usually not the best answer because:

1. The company loses its most valuable products, i.e. its dancers;

2. The company loses the normal performance-related opportunities to promote the company and to maintain and build relationships with its supporters.

However, having said the above, I have no detailed information and the circumstances may be quite different than I imagined.


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 Post subject: Re: George Piper Dances (The Ballet Boyz) 2003-04 Season (2n
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 4:35 am 
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George Piper Dances
By Peter Hepple for The Stage

If there is one word that springs to mind when watching George Piper Dances, it is 'playful'. With this programme, it applies to the jokey introduction and the videos they delight in screening...

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