The Balletboyz Are Back In Town


Theatre Severn

Saturday 14th September 2019



Straight from the West End and following a revue at Sadler’s Wells, we welcome the return of the Balletboyz with their strikingly challenging pieces “THEM “and “US”. These were two very differing pieces and this review will reflect on the merits of both acts.

Act one if you like, the Them part of the piece was a strong image based piece with bold strident colours and a strength in both aggression and synchronicity. As you may be aware one looks for narrative in the pieces. Is there a story? Well as they say, this is a show with two halves; the first half yes there was a fluid narrative that one saw and experienced. For the second act…Not so.

Having established it was a dance of two halves. The stage was alive with Lads dressed in 1980’s shell suits and in the middle of the stage was a large unwalled cube built of what looked like scaffolding posts.

It was through the use of this simple cube the dancers were able to swing from it, ride it and even hang from it as the other dancers moved it. This was a strong emblematic piece dealing possibly with the concept of us putting people in boxes and pedestals. They, unknowing were caught in the cube finding  tableaux . We all put people in boxes we all put people on pedestals ultimately they fall off them as humanity takes control. This piece spoke of the THEM and US and told us not to capture spirits but allow them to run free. We all get boxed by someone we either like it or we don't but other people's judgement of you, can be quite wrong but highly generalised. You become boxed.

The second piece the, US piece of the dance was much less accessible. Keeping the theme of the difference which marks them and us out. Who are they,and who are us? What is reality? Is it greater or less than expectation? All these themes presented themselves to me as I search for a narrative I could hang my hat on. Alas there were none!

With the narrative too deeply hidden one watched the second piece as just a pure piece of dance. These boys can surely dance. They can use a body in so many fascinating ways some of their moves look next to impossible and yet they achieve everyone with such ease and never once was a foot put wrong.

In fact for that this could be classed as an utterly flawless performance. If they had made any errors one saw absolutely none. It is challenging and sometimes bewildering but modern dance is about expression and using the body to convey meaning and message. Repetition, mirroring and synchronicity are all wonderful tools they carry in the arsenal of the Balletboyz and one hopes they keep challenging us and keep making us think.

Sometimes we will get the bigger picture sometimes we will not but to attend a Balletboyz performance suggests you want to completely suspend your own beliefs and try and hear what the boys are saying, sometimes you will sometimes you may not, but for a sheer spectacle of what the human body can conceivably achieve it is worth catching up with The Balletboyz. They are a pure education.

This is a Three Star Review

Owen J Lewis.


Sofia Lewis Sofia Lewis
For many years Sofia wrote here under her male name Owen J. Lewis. She is now mostly writing under her own name of Sofia Lewis. Sofia, who worked on independent radio for over ten years, lives in Shrewsbury and writes plays. She has over 15 titles published and her plays are performed all over the world. She is especially popular in America. Her poetry is also often noted and she writes reams of it most weeks. Since graduating in theatre in 1997 Sofia has been an Actor, Filmmaker, and a Secondary School Teacher. Reviewing theatre is something she thoroughly enjoys and she loves to see great theatre. As a musician Sofia is known throughout the UK she is a folk singer, and is often seen or heard around her native county singing and having fun. Sofia has contributed to for over a decade and enjoys sharing her views on theatre. Sofia has one daughter and grew up in Church Stretton.

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