Fourteen Days is the culmination of a project bringing together eleven dancers, four composers and four choreographers, each of whom were given just two weeks (fourteen days) to put together their works based on the concept of balance and imbalance. BalletBoyz are known for their innovation and for their combination of artistry and physicality, and the four pieces making up the first half of tonight’s show are testament to that.
The Title is in the Text, by Javier De Frutos, takes the idea of balance most literally of the quartet of dances, using a seesaw as a centre piece, which the dancers climb on, slide off and fall from, to create a dance of constant motion powered purely by weight. It is mesmerising to watch as the dancers support each other on this most simple but effective of props, and the score by Scott Walker provides it with a dramatic backdrop.
In Human Animal, by Iván Pérez, the dancers bound onto the stage and circle it using short repetitive sequences. These build upon each other as they go round and round, in imitation, perhaps, of horses performing the art of dressage. It is high-energy dance performed in very little from the waist down, allowing the audience to see every rippling muscle of the dancers’ legs, again perhaps in comparison with the impressive limbs of show or race horses.
Us, choreographed by the impressive Christopher Wheeldon, is the most complete of the numbers. It shows how the human body can support both itself and others, and the importance of that togetherness. Finally, The Indicator Line, created by choreographer of Strictly fame, Craig Revel Horwood, brings the first half to an explosive and stereotypically masculine end, with a display of power and strength accentuated by clogs.
The pieces are good without being sublime, but like a proverbial football match, this performance is a tale of two halves. After the interval, the audience are treated to a revival of the great Russell Maliphant piece, Fallen, which both thrills and excites in equal measure, and epitomises all that Michael Nunn and William Trevitt hoped to achieve, when they set up their all male dance company back in 2000. Maliphant’s award winning work is a masterpiece.