World premiere of new show ready for Edinburgh Festival Theatre
The first day of rehearsals is a challenge for every choreographer, standing in front of a roomful of expectant eyes watching your every move. For the past 18 years, BalletBoyz' artistic directors William Trevitt and Michael Nunn have invited numerous dancemakers in to do just that; only this time, they've tried something a bit different. Instead of an outsider crafting the work, Them has been created by the company's own dancers.
'We, the artistic directors, have had an overview but essentially the dancers devised the material based on tasks they were given or ideas they had themselves,' explains Trevitt. 'They've been really challenged by it. It's easy to take for granted the effort and skill it takes to be a choreographer, but if you're the person at the front of the room who has to get everyone onside, it takes a lot of self-belief.'
Working with just the title, and fragments of music from composer Charlotte Harding's new score, the dancers explored notions of 'them' and 'us' and blossomed just as Trevitt and Nunn knew they would. 'We'd seen how creative the dancers are in rehearsals,' says Trevitt. 'And we always felt confident telling any choreographer that comes in here that they can rely on the dancers, because they have so many ideas, so much experience and are eager to contribute; so we just thought, let's take it a step further and see what happens.'
Them will form a companion piece to Us, a 2017 duet by world-renowned choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, which he has extended for this tour to include six dancers. 'Christopher's duet felt like he had dropped us in the middle of a story,' says Trevitt. 'We wanted to know how did they get to that point? So that's what we asked of him; to create what led up to it.'
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Sat 23 Feb.