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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2003 6:00 am 
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Ballet Boyz back in town
By Kevin Bourke for Manchester online


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!

The ex-Royal Ballet dancers William Trevitt and Michael Nunn take the title of their celebrated troupe from their middle names and set it up in January 2001 after stints with the Royal Ballet and K Ballet.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2003 9:02 am 
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REVIEW: GEORGE PIPER DANCES - Queen Elizabeth Hall, 26/03/03

George Piper dances are not only exceptionally talented – they are also very clever. Before the performance has even begun, they have awarded themselves five stars, and titled their show ‘Critics Choice’. They are guys in jeans dancing against any odds, any stereotypes and any explicit overtones of the sexual, political or social variety. They are strong and talented, look super cool and have a sense of humour to boot, seen not least in the outtakes at the end. In short, they are real people, doing a real job. Not prima ballerinas, not wannabes. Modern choreographers, modern movers creating dance in a fresh and funky way – keeping it real.

Their video documentary-cum-performance details the exploits of a group of men, plus the strutting, flitting, whippet like Oxana Panchenko, with outstanding classical technique, collaborating with contemporary choreographers. Rather than being faced purely with a string of dances, we witness the intimate and touching relationships between company members, which somehow makes us feel that we have gotten to know them, thus we understand their pieces that little bit more - we are aware of where the dances came from and how they have grown in the artistic process of development. The video projection also turns the dance performance into a more accessible media arts event and rejuvenates our attention spans in between dances.

Any choreographic clichés throughout the works are made good by the combination of familiarity with originality. For example, in ‘Red or White’ Akram Khan’s intricate Indian Classical gestures nestle amongst fairly typical floorwork - the movements seem as casual as the ‘erms’ and ‘yeahs’ of the accompanying deeply personal speech. Similarly, despite the repetition in Wheeldon’s ‘Mesmerics’, we are spellbound by the two bodies fitting together and slipping apart; Russell Maliphant somehow leaves us flabbergasted at his creation which centres around that over-practised class trust technique of falling and catching each other by various body parts. Innovative and unique visual gems lie amid customary contemporary movement, furthering the sense of informality created by our ‘inside knowledge’ of the company.

It is refreshing to be presented with clarification as opposed to interpretation. Matthew Bourne tells us that his duet ‘Dearest Love’ is a reaction to current aggressive depictions of homosexuality on stage. The result is a light hearted piece complete with a few flicks, kicks, pas de chats and a starry sky. Combined with Michael Hulls Art Deco lighting patterns, the mood is light, and the performance radiant.

The evening’s fin de siecle, ‘Torsion’ (2000), is a game with gravity. The dancers seem forced to fall, jump and land; they are caught off balance but swiftly regain their cool with efficiency of flow so fluent that it is almost body popping. ‘Torsions’ contact work leaves the audience guessing where the next movement will take the dancers, and us. Which level will come next? What will be the outcome of the next gymnastic reposition? Which gap between their bodies will the dancers slide through, or fall over, or hop on to? And the words “What will George Piper Dances do next?” continue to echo on everybody’s lips as they leave the auditorium. If it’s anything like this ***** choreographic certainty, exquisite dancing, and fine layer of originality, then by George, we can’t wait.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 5:58 pm 
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Location: Maryland USA
I have heard, not confirmed, that GPD will be coming to the US this Fall, and will be at the Lisner Auditorium in DC, in October, and in Pittsburgh Nov 1st. Can't wait.


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 11:57 pm 
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The Boyz have a website
www.gpdances.com

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 12:42 am 
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Welcome to CriticalDance Mandy and thanks for the link. Have you seen the Critics' ***** show?


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2003 12:18 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The Boyz are back in town
By David Jays for The FT


As I'm leaving, Michael Nunn delivers his parting shot: "Don't forget we're on Ready Steady Cook too!" Nunn and William Trevitt, known to television audiences as "the Ballet Boyz", may have been described as "ballet's answer to Jamie Oliver", but how far will they go? They're after a new audience for modern dance, and if gurning with Ainsley is what it takes, they're up for it.

Male ballet dancers can spend their careers in mere good behaviour, full of adroit partnering and offering ballerinas a shoulder to fly on. But after 12 years with the Royal Ballet, Nunn and Trevitt left in 1999, when the controversial redevelopment of Covent Garden reduced the dancing company to misery. Following a brief stint with Tetsuyo Kumakawa's all-male company in Japan - of which more later - they returned to Britain and transformed themselves from unobtrusive gentlemen of the ballet to media-friendly ambassadors for modern dance.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:17 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Times.

Quote:
THIS is turning out to be a great year for the Ballet Boyz. Their spring tour was a big success; their Critics’ Choice evening — which brought together five of the most exciting names in British choreography — was one of the most talked-about events of the season. And now, just before embarking on their first American tour, they have unveiled an evening of yet more new choreography at Sadler’s Wells.
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And from The Guardian.

Quote:
The Ballet Boyz may be new to the business of artistic direction, but their latest show puts them alongside dance's most grown-up players. After just two years of running George Piper Dances, William Trevitt and Michael Nunn have a repertoire any major company would covet, along with an ensemble of world-class dancers. GPD take the stage with a justified air of entitlement - though it's good to see a chipper edge of adventure still marking their company style.
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<small>[ 24 September 2003, 06:21 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:38 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The Sadler's programme is an exhilerating evening of top quality dance. My own favourite remains Russell Maliphant's "Surface Tension", which gets better every time I see it, whether performed by Maliphant's own company or George Piper. The Ballet Boyz commanded the large Sadler's Wells stage in this tightly structured duet.

The other works by William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon and Cathy Marston all had strong elements, not least the dancing of Oxana Panchenko, with wonderful line, speed and finish. The former is a London premiere and the other two, world premieres. Hats off to William Trevitt and Michael Nunn for providing such nourishing, fresh material.

Strongly recommended - it was not full last night, so tickets are probably available for any night, but do check.

<small>[ 24 September 2003, 07:40 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 9:03 am 
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Location: LONDON UK
Michael and Billy will be online with londondance.com this Friday 26 Sept @ 4pm. We'd love some of you criticaldance.com forum users to join us with your comments/questions. If you can't make it on the day, submit them in advance and check the site later for the transcript:
http://www.londondance.com/content.asp?Level=2&SubSection=172


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 9:45 am 
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Location: London UK
George Piper Dances has become a very popular group that certainly deserves an enthusiastic following. Of course a stint on TV hasn’t harmed an already high profile and they appear to go from strength to strength.

They opened last night at Sadlers Wells starting the evening with William Forsythe’s pretentiously titled “Approximate Sonata,1,V”. It opened with William Trevitt moving slowly forward and gurning at the audience, opening his mouth wide in what appeared a fly catching exercise, vaguely miming to the vocal of a crowded musical montage interspersed with shouted instructions, presumably from the choreographer. He was eventually joined by Oxana Panchenko for some rather expressionless partial double work, but the piece dissolved into the end of what appeared to be a rehearsal, just a work in progress it seemed. An odd concept.

Trevitt and Nunn are well known for their video diaries and in each half of the programme the ballets were separated by their amateur filming. We see them journeying first to Frankfurt to see Forsythe and then, more rewardingly I can’t help thinking, to New York to link up with Christopher Wheeldon. For some reason I couldn’t quite grasp, we were also shown scenes of Trevitt frolicking in his bath, treating us to the admittedly impressive sight of his glistening torso. He handled his towel somewhat teasingly, I must report.

The second work was “Mesmerics” by Christopher Wheeldon, a magnificent piece for all five members of the company. This was originally seen as a trio but has now been expanded, tailored no doubt, to the unique qualities of this group. Wheeldon’s ingenuity in creating beautiful images impresses me more acutely with every new work of his I see. He has a wonderful instinct for music and in this ballet to chamber music by Philip Glass the steps become an added dimension to the music. Totally abstract, the dancers interact in almost random ways, contacting, dissolving and reforming into those ingenious groups and sensuous poses that are so much a hallmark of this choreographer’s output. I don’t hesitate to recommend this as the first must-see ballet of the season.

The second half of the programme began with Cathy Marston’s “Non Exuent”. A work for the two female company members, Panchenko and Zamora (the Ballet Girlz?) Before the start of this work we heard the voice of Marston herself telling us how the work was inspired by two Shakespearian female characters, Lady Macbeth and Ophelia. From what Ms Marston had to say about them it was very clear that her understanding of Shakespeare was limited: “She’s got it completely wrong!” I heard from the woman sitting next to me under her breath. I won’t disagree. Between two lines of light bulbs and wearing short clinging dresses, Lady M. wrings her hands and Ophelia wallows in an imaginary pool but sadly it doesn’t add up to much.

Before the final work of the evening we get more of the video diaries showing us a little of the rigours of touring as Trevitt and Nunn prepare to perform at provincial theatres up and down the country, often getting lost on the way or turning up at the wrong venues. These two have a gift for humour and for getting a laugh out of the most mundane situations.

Finally we saw Russell Maliphant’s “Critical Mass”, that ever-popular duet seemingly danced part in fun and part in anger. With pile driving aggressive accompaniment interrupted by a middle section of cha cha rhythms. Nunn and Trevitt dance both with and against one another, even indulging in a slow motion punch-up. It’s a great ending to the show guaranteeing that the punters go home in a good mood and the performers presumably collapse in a heap from sheer exhaustion.


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 1:32 am 
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Review from The Telegraph.

Quote:
When two former Royal Ballet men of unstarry profile claimed in 2001 that a tiny independent company could commission the world's major choreographers and win over a new constituency for ballet, it sounded like pie in the sky.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 1:37 am 
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Review from The Independent.

Quote:
"We'd be quite upset", says Michael Nunn, "if people didn't write about us. We've put all this work in, so we'd mind if nobody took any notice." There's little danger of that. Nunn and William Trevitt are dancers and directors of the company George Piper Dances (the title comes from their middle names). But they're also the Ballet Boyz, known from their Channel 4 series and from media appearances all over the place. They have a new show at Sadler's Wells, so they're doing interviews and Ready Steady Cook. "It's a bit depressing," admits Trevitt, "to think that more people have probably seen us doing Ready Steady Cook than have watched us dance."

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:18 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Excitement at Sadler's Wells tonight as Michael Nunn was unable to perform. William Trevitt came out at the start to tell us that Michael was at the bedside of his wife, Belinda Hatley, as she entered her 36th hour in labour. Very best wishes to all the Nunns.

The impact of the Ballet Boyz being reduced to the Ballet Boy was that Christopher Wheeldon's "Mesmerics" was cut from 5 to 4 dancers and with the doubling up of roles, inevitably it was not quite as polished. Apart from this the reduction made little difference emphasising the anonymity and interchangeability of the dancers.

The biggest impact was in "Surface Tension" where Michael Pomero, from the Russell Maliphant Dance Company, stepped into the breach. He did amazingly well given the complexity and intensity of this stunning duet. It didn't quite have the magic of Tuesday's performance, but how could it, when Trevitt and Nunn have been performing this together since the first days of GPD.

Different people will take away their own favourite from the programme, but it has to be Russell Maliphant's "Critical Tension" for me. Quite an achievement in such august company.

<small>[ 26 September 2003, 05:29 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:49 am 
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Ballet Boyz Sadler's Wells
By Clement Crisp for The Financial Times


The Ballet Boyz, also known as Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, and trading under the title George Piper Dances, are in Rosebery Avenue this week. They have come a long way since they fled the Royal Ballet and sought the pleasures of working in Japan. They also discovered, and here's the great gain, that their fame enabled them to promote the kind of ballet which they found interesting.

Thus their George Piper identity, commissioning and performing more adventurous balletic forms than are generally on offer. New works have been made, new audiences have been encouraged - tickled, I'd venture - into dance by the Boyz' sunny attitude to dance.

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Boyz - George Piper Dances
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 2:01 am 
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George Piper at the gates of a new dawn
By Jann Parry for The Observer

George Piper Dances
Sadler's Wells, London EC1
The Immortals
Birmingham Hippodrome

Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, the callow Ballet Boyz, have come of age within two years of launching their own company. They started George Piper Dances (after their middle names) with limited resources but lots of goodwill. They have rapidly proved their case that audiences will indeed welcome a daring modern ballet ensemble that presents itself with a sense of humour.

Their signature device of larky video links to demystify choreography has become increasingly skilful. At Sadler's Wells, video images were screened across the entire proscenium, giving the five dancers time to breathe and change between each piece.

The latest programme, which GPD take on their first American tour, includes three premieres of works by William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon and Cathy Marston.

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

Calling the tune
George Piper Dances were in fabulous form at Sadler’s Wells, proving that the boldness of the Ballet Boyz is paying off. By David Dougill for The Sunday Times.


It is just two years since the former Royal Ballet dancers William Trevitt and Michael Nunn launched their innovative company George Piper Dances (it takes its title from their middle names), and their enterprise goes from strength to strength. The latest programme, at Sadler’s Wells last week, included new commissioned works — one of them, Mesmerics, by Christopher Wheeldon, a real stunner — and a reprise of one of their signature successes, all juxtaposed with jokey but revealing “home videos” about creating choreography and hectic life on tour, which Trevitt and Nunn have made a trademark since their Ballet Boyz television documentaries.

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