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BalletBoyz - The Talent (Tour - Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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BalletBoyz and their artistic directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt pack out venues with their shows and at the Lowry last night, dance fans seemed united that this was an excellent night out. I liked it, but I did not love it.

Torsion - with choreography by Russell Maliphant is the first piece and it sees the 8 dancers in denim replicating the movement of fireworks. Michael Hulls' lighting is evocative and effective when the dancing begins but like the piece itself, it soon becomes monotonous and a bit one trick. The dancers seem desperate to convey emotion but they are not really directed that way - so end up looking stony faced and void. Apt as this is the name of the third piece.

Alpha is faster paced and has some really brilliant elements - as the piece explores male energy and all of the dancers rise to the challenge with ease. Matthew Rees stands out because he has poise and elegance but also enough machismo to put Jay Z out of work. At times though, the energy drops and again the dancers are left to pick up the pace when it flags.

Void is all hoodies and fearless dance moves. For a piece set against a bacdrop of fighting, it works wonderfully well, as the interaction between the dancers is believable and dangerous. It does test the strongest of dancers as Jarek Cemerek makes them move like lightening.

As slick and good as it is, the night lacks humour and many other emotions as it is all played rather po-faced. The 8 guys work their torsos into a spin and cover so much ground that it feels awful to criticise. But they are not really asked to invest any sense of drama into the proceedings. So they simply dance and go.

A few poignant moments puncuated with some humour would lift The Talent and give the show a hear tbeat. Until then, this is an efficient night out with some stunning moments but it could do with more urgency and soul.

(Reviewed at the Lowry)


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