BalletBoyz To Present Deluxe For BBC Four TV Premiere And Online Screening To Launch Sadler’s Wells Facebook Premieres Series
BALLETBOYZ NEW SHOW DELUXE TO AIR ON BBC FOUR FOR THE BBC CULTURE IN QUARANTINE FESTIVAL AND TO BE SCREENED ONLINE TOMORROW EVENING TO LAUNCH SADLER’S WELLS FACEBOOK PREMIERES SERIES
FURTHER DIGITAL WORKS FROM BALLETBOYZ’ VIDEO ARCHIVE PLUS NEW MATERIAL WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE TO WATCH SOON
BalletBoyz’ new dance show Deluxe will air on BBC Four for the BBC Culture in Quarantine festival and the production will also be available to view online from Friday 27 March at 7.30pm to launch Sadler’s Wells Facebook Premieres. Following Government advice on Monday 16 March and to protect the safety of audiences, artists and workforce, BalletBoyz cancelled the remaining performances of its 20th anniversary UK Spring Tour but is now able to share the production with audiences watching from home. Deluxe will have its TV premiere on BBC Four and will be available on iPlayer - further details to be announced in due course. Co-producers Sadler’s Wells, where the live show was due to be performed in London this week, will also host Deluxe on its Facebook page this Friday at 7.30pm as the first video of the new Sadler’s Wells Facebook Premieres series where it will be available to watch for one week only.
Deluxe features three new works choreographed by an all-female team: Ripple, the UK debut of renowned shanghai-based choreographer Xie Xin with music by electronic composer Jiang Shaofeng; Bradley 4:18 by Punchdrunk choreographer Maxine Doyle in a collaboration with Mercury Prize-nominated jazz musician Cassie Kinoshi and inspired by the Kate Tempest track Pictures On A Screen; plus The Intro, a short opening film by emerging choreographer Sarah Golding set to music by SEED Ensemble.
BalletBoyz was founded in 2000 by Artistic Directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt. Deluxe is the company’s 20th anniversary production and is performed by the current BalletBoyz company which includes Joseph Barton, Benjamin Knapper, Harry Price, Liam Riddick, Matthew Sandiford and Will Thompson plus apprentice Dan Baines.
In addition to Deluxe, BalletBoyz will be sharing further video content online in the coming weeks including excerpts from their past shows, films and documentaries, behind the scenes in rehearsals, plus brand new material online.
Choreographed by Xie Xin
Music by Jiang Shaofeng
Ripple marks the UK debut of Chinese choreographer Xie Xin choreographed to a highly detailed electronic score by composer, lauded tap dancer and her long-time collaborator Jiang Shaofeng. The piece explores movement inspired by the memory of a person and the flow of energy that such memories and feelings possess. Beautifully fluid and lyrical, it sees the BalletBoyz company express new styles in contrast to their familiar athletic and strength-oriented work.
Choreographed by Maxine Doyle
Music by Cassie Kinoshi
Bradley 4:18, choreographed by Punchdrunk’s Maxine Doyle, is inspired by the lyrics and story of spoken word artist Kate Tempest’s Pictures on a Screen, about Bradley, a seemingly successful young man struggling to connect with the world around him. It is set to a score by Mercury Award nominated and Ivors Academy Award winning London-based composer, arranger and alto-saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi. Composed in parallel with the choreographic creation, it is a highly atmospheric, filmic score with a modern jazz flavour. Bradley 4:18 presents the six BalletBoyz dancers as different iterations of the character Bradley and how he might act at 4:18 in the morning.
Choreographed by Sara Golding
Music by Seed Ensemble
Ahead of the double-bill, Deluxe begins with a short film introducing the BalletBoyz in a new work choreographed by dancer and emerging choreographer Sarah Golding and set to Seed Ensemble track The Darkies as featured on their Mercury Prize-nominated album Driftglass. The piece introduces the audience to the dancers’ and offers a look into their individual personalities and characters, and giving a flavour of the performances to come.
Xie Xin is the creator and Artistic Director of Xiexin Dance Theatre (XDT) and is an Associate Artist of the Shanghai International Dance Centre Theatre and jury member of the Lotus Prize. In addition to this, she is a guest professor at Shanghai University of Sport and guest choreographer of Hessisches Staatsballett (Wiesbaden) and Shanghai Dance Company. In 2014 Xie Xin set up her own dance company and began her career as an independent artist. Her choreographic works have won numerous awards in China and abroad, including awards from Rome International Dance Competition, the Lotus Prize, the Hannover International Choreography competition, and the Beijing International Ballet and Choreography competition. Her work has been financially supported by the National Art Foundation, CFLAC Foundation and the Young Artists Platform of Dance. Recently Xie Xin has worked as a dancer for Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Shanghai Jinxing Dance Theater, Beijing Tao Dance Theatre and Beijing Dance LDTX. In recent years, Xie Xin’s work with XDT has been performed at many European and Asian Art Festivals such as Kuopio Dance Festival (Finland), Colours Dance Festival (Germany), Festival Paris L’ete (France), STEPS Dance Festival (Switzerland), Wiesbaden Theatre Performance Season (Germany), Croatian Sprite and Hibernik Dance Festival, Chinese Dance Biennale, and Hong Kong Art Festival. She has participated in art festivals in 30 countries.
Jiang Shaofeng is a musician and highly regarded as one of the best tap dancers in China. He started to research music specifically in 2014. He has written music in various styles and incorporates a variety of effects into his work. In 2016 he created the music of From IN for Xiexin Dance Theatre (XDT). In the same year he also created the music of Touch for the first part of Unknown for XDT. In 2017 he wrote the music of After, the dance collaboratively created by Xie Xin and Pan Zhenhao. He continued his collaboration with XDT in 2018, creating the music for Obsessive. In 2019, Jiang Shaofeng worked with Xie Xin on Moments for the Wiesbaden Theatre in Germany.
Maxine Doyle is an independent choreographer and director. Since 2002 she has been Associate Director and choreographer for Punchdrunk with whom she co-directed the multi-award-winning Sleep No More (London, Boston, New York, Shanghai), The Drowned Man, Faust and Masque of the Red Death to name a few. She has an MA in choreography from the Laban Centre and was Artistic Director of First Person Dance Company from 1996 – 2003 touring works such as Deja Deux, In the Face of a Stranger, Plastic Chill and It’s Only a Gameshow. In 2006 she was a Place Prize semi-finalist with Forest. Her work for theatre includes Evening at the Talk House (NT), Electra (Old Vic), The Changeling, Hamlet (Young Vic), The Children’s Hour (West End), Timon of Athens (The Globe) and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (National Theatre). Opera includes Faust (Baden Baden) and The Cunning Little Vixen (Glyndebourne). Maxine is a regular principle artist at Springboard Danse Montreal creating Hubris, Electric Sheep and Miss D. Most recently Maxine has been collaborating on her first feature film Mari.
Cassie Kinoshi is a Mercury Award nominated and Ivors Academy Award winning London-based composer, arranger and alto-saxophonist. She is currently working in theatre, film, contemporary dance and both the jazz and classical performance worlds. Cassie is best known for her work with her large ensemble SEED, Afrobeat band KOKOROKO and jazz septet NÉRIJA. Theatre composition credits include: Top Girls (National Theatre), All The Shit I Can’t Say To My Dad, Blue Beneath My Skin (This Is Black, Bunker Theatre), SuperBlackMan (Battersea Arts), Pagans, Exceptional Mercy, Hy Brasil (Old Vic Theatre, Old Vic 12). Awards and nominations include: Mercury Award Nominee 2019 (Driftglass, SEED Ensemble), Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year Winner 2019, Ivors Academy Award Winner 2018, Best Jazz Composition for Large Ensemble (Afronaut, SEED Ensemble), Parliamentary Jazz Award 2017 for Best Newcomer (Nérija), Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year Nominee 2016 (Nérija), BBC Young Composer of the Year Nominee 2012.
Sarah Golding grew up in Dartford, Kent and first started dancing at Miskin Theatre (North Kent College). She went on to train at Trinity Laban and received a BA and MA in Dance Performance (Transitions Dance Company). She has performed with Lîla Dance, Cathy Waller Company, and bangbangbang group. Sarah has performed a number of times at the Royal Court theatre (Teh Internet Is Serious Business, Primetime directed by Hamish Pirie) and is currently performing with the world touring cast of STOMP. Sarah often teaches her practice and choreography at various universities and colleges including London Studio Centre, The Place, Belgrade Dance Institute (Serbia) and is resident choreographer at Miskin Theatre. Sarah’s choreographic credits include BalletBoyz Dancer’s Course MOVEIT, Primetime 17 (Royal Court), As You Like It, Children of Eden (Mountview Theatre), and YMT (Lyric, Belfast).
Founded in 2000 by former Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, BalletBoyz is regarded as one of the most original and innovative forces in modern dance through its celebrated stage and television work. The company has made 38 pieces of new work for the stage over the last 20 years, won 13 international awards and became the first dance company in history to win a Rose d’Or Award for its first feature film. BalletBoyz has collaborated with 25 choreographers, ranging from some of the world’s finest and most established to emerging and unknown choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Akram Khan, Kristen McNally, Matthew Bourne and Liv Lorent to name a few. BalletBoyz continues to be celebrated across four continents by audiences and critics alike; the company has performed their work more than 400 times around the UK and in 13 countries across the world, with over 350,000 people having seen one of their productions over the last 20 years. Many people have also attended their regular dance workshops and classes for both children and adults, including specialised classes for people with learning disabilities and Parkinson’s, held at their studios in Kingston.
Michael Nunn and William Trevitt met as students at the Royal Ballet School. In 1987 they graduated into The Royal Ballet company where they danced for twelve years, performing major roles and working with the most important choreographers of the Late 20th Century. During this time, a shared interest in photography and film found them creating a documentary for Channel 4, titled BalletBoyz. The four-part series revealed their lives as “ordinary” ballet dancers.
Their fascination with the twin strands of stage and screen has continued throughout their careers. Leaving The Royal Ballet in 1999 to pursue greater creative freedom, they headed to Japan where they were founding members of K-Ballet. Soon after, they returned to London to launch their own dance company, BalletBoyz. In 2004 they won the Laurence Olivier Award for Russell Maliphant’s Broken Fall, performing with Sylvie Guillem, returning to the Royal Opera House as Guest Principal dancers. During this period, they created numerous arts documentaries and dance films including: BalletBoyz II, set in Japan; Rise and Fall – featuring the work of Russell Maliphant; a gala performance and films to celebrate the retirement of their classmate Darcey Bussell; and a digital corps de ballet for Christopher Wheeldon’s work Electric Counterpoint. They won the prestigious Rose d’Or award and an International Emmy for Strictly Bolshoi which followed Wheeldon as he became the first Englishman to choreograph for the Bolshoi Ballet. This was followed by a film about The Royal Ballet’s first visit to Cuba, and a specially commissioned The Rite of Spring which won the Golden Prague Grand Prix award.
Following their retirement from the stage in 2009 they reinvented BalletBoyz, bringing young dancers together to create an all-male dance company that has grown into the award-winning group performing today. Working with various choreographers, including Liam Scarlett, Alexander Whitley, Paul Roberts, Fernanda Lippi and Javier de Frutos, they have added dozens of works to the repertoire which tours nationally and internationally to great acclaim. Film production continued with: The Next Generation, a film about the new line-up of the company; Kama Sutra for SkyArts; and 40+ short films for Channel 4. In 2014 they commissioned Young Men, choreographed by Iván Pérez. Based on themes of war and soldiering, it became the foundation for their first movie, a unique combination of film-making and story-telling through the language of dance. Young Men premiered on BBC2 on Armistice Day 2016 and won several awards. Michael and Billy are Associate Artists at Sadler’s
Joseph Barton (dancer) recently graduated from Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Throughout his training he was able to work with and perform alongside many different artists and organisations. He trained as an apprentice with BalletBoyz, performed with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and has won multiple awards in Hanover, Germany with Connor Scott at the 32 choreography competition. He joined BalletBoyz full time in September 2019.
Benjamin Knapper (dancer) started dancing at the age of 14 at Elizabeth Hill School of Dance. He went on to train at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, where he worked with choreographers including Richard Alston, Mark Baldwin and Ashley Page. Ben has also performed with Rambert Dance Company on their spring and autumn tours performing A Linha Curva choreographed by Itzik Galilli. Ben was an apprentice dancer with BalletBoyz from Spring 2018, and joined the company full time in September 2018.
Harry Price (dancer) has previously performed in the international tour of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake across Asia, Australia and Europe. He joined BalletBoyz in 2015, has toured globally with the company and has been involved in various film and TV projects. This will mark his fifth season with the company. Harry trained with Italia Conti Theatre Arts, Elmhurst Ballet School and the English National Ballet School. He has performed with the Baltic Dance Theatre and in national tours with English National Ballet and ENBII.
Liam Riddick (dancer) trained with London Contemporary Dance School and has toured nationally and internationally with the Richard Alston Dance Company for eight years. He received 7 nominations for the Critics Circle National Dance Awards, and in February 2018 won Best Male Dancer. He has also danced for James Cousins Dance and featured in Rick Guest’s exhibition and book What Lies Beneath.
Matthew Sandiford (dancer) joined BalletBoyz in September 2012 and will now make his seventh season with the company. As part of BalletBoyz, he has toured the UK, Europe, the USA and Australia, performing work by Kristen McNally, Christopher Wheeldon and Alexander Whitley amongst others. Matthew has also danced with Charlie Dixon Dance Company and was a featured dancer in the London 2012 Closing Ceremony.
Will Thompson (dancer) began dance training on the Trinity Laban CAT scheme. Alongside this, he was also part of Shoreditch Youth Dance. After two years Will went on to study at Rambert School. He was one of the selected artists to take part in DV8 Physical Theatre’s Professional Development programme. Since then his work within theatre and dance has expanded across stage and screen. Will has worked with and performed in creations by Hannes Langold, Johannes Wieland, and Maciej Kuźmiński.
Dan Baines (dancer) is currently an apprentice with BalletBoyz. He has trained in various urban styles alongside contemporary and ballet at Swindon Dance’s CAT Scheme. Dan was in the National Youth Dance Company, working with Damien Jalet, before entering his training at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Whilst there he has worked with many choreographers including Christopher Bruce and Akram Kahn and is now in his final year of training.