balletboyz fresno

Review: Ballet Boyz Life 2017

balletboyz fresnoEarlier today I watched a facebook video of the London based company warming up slowly doing  modern dance technique bartnieff fundamentals.   I found that interesting because I expected them to be diligently perfecting their turn out at the barre like many other ballet companies. This is not your ordinary dance company.   They have dancers who have no formal training,  dancers who graduated from ballet schools, and everything in between.

The first piece “Rabbit” choreographed by Pontus Lindberg,  started with a soloist who had his hair in a man bun doing slow movements, and a dancer on a wood and rope swing with a rabbit head.   The contemporary choreography slowed down and sped up and had inversions,  falls in fourth position, and low arabesque turns.  The smoothness was juxtaposed with Nijinskyesque parallel stomping,  skipping,  and leaping.   There were animal like gestures.  The most exciting dancing was when the dancers came on stage without the rabbit heads and danced and partnered in unison and canon.

The second piece “Fiction” choreographed by Javier de Frutos was performed to recorded voices infused with a cover of Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.”  The voices saying “Catholic homosexual,” “Naked man,” “biggest piece of crap we have ever seen,” and “received death threats,” stood out to me.  The idea behind this piece was de Frutos had imagined his own death due to a plastic shard falling from a set piece killing him.  There was a ballet barre on stage that the dancers did classical ballet warm ups like turn in,  turn out battement second,  and plies and contemporary rolls, falls, and partnering.  The voices may have represented the choreographer’s worst criticism that could have been heard after he died.

Life 2017 was an entertaining evening length show that had simple skipping and paddle turns, and difficult inversions and partnering.  It ended with a post modern back fall.  It left us with the paradox that sometimes in life we think about what happens after we die 

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