Leading Lights of Dance

Thursday 14th June, 2012 | Posted by Katherine Redmond

At the latest in Rowan Arts’ Connecting Conversations series held in the iconic London Met graduate centre, the Ballet Boyz revealed much about their fascinating professional partnership and the state of ballet today. Dubbed ‘the Royals’ on their recent trip to the US because of their former stints at the Royal Ballet, the duo saw doors open for them in a way that they would not have otherwise had they gone by their name Ballet Boyz. It is a shame that ballet is almost a dirty word, still seeming to conjure up clichés in the public’s mind and smacking of elitism. However, the Boyz, Michael and Billy, are committed to changing that though their creative endeavours. These include their use of film to a) help the viewer to warm to the dancers as individuals before the dancing even starts and b) (an indirect benefit of using film) to reach a broader audience, as well as selecting dancers for their company, The Talent, more for their magnetic charisma than an excellent technique. It was interesting to hear that their dancers are encouraged to teach, as this can only help to spread the Ballet Boyz’ vision of ‘ballet for all’. This outreach to the broader public will surely be boosted when they open their own studio in Kingston later in the year. Their plans include inviting other creative practice such as art and film into that space, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements about this exciting development.

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