BalletBoyz: 'We went halfway around the world and then worked out what it was we were looking for'
- Kelly Apter
- 26 February 2020
BalletBoyz' co-artistic director speak about their serendipitous trip to China and their contrasting double bill in celebration of the company's 20th anniversary
It was a trip to China that sealed the deal. William Trevitt and Michael Nunn, also known as the BalletBoyz' co-artistic directors, had been scouting around for the perfect double-bill to celebrate the company's 20th anniversary year. On tour in China, they arranged to meet Xie Xin, one of the country's most exciting contemporary choreographers. And, by pure chance, a former BalletBoyz dancer was also in the country, performing a work by Maxine Doyle with London-based company Punchdrunk. So the pair went along to see him.
'We went halfway around the world and then worked out what it was we were looking for,' says Trevitt with a laugh. 'All of those things in China seemed to tie together, and yet both choreographers are so radically different in terms of the way they create, the style of movement and emphasis on character or pure physicality. So it's worked out to be a really interesting double bill.'
Both Xie Xin and Doyle have created brand new works for the BalletBoyz' six male dancers, which will have their world premiere in Glasgow under the show title Deluxe. Known for her work with TAO Dance Theatre and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Xie Xin is making her UK debut, while Doyle, currently Punchdrunk's associate director, is using live jazz music for her new piece.
'Xie Xin's work is very organic, very physical, and as you watch it you're a little bit transported into another world,' says Trevitt. 'Whereas Maxine's piece is much more immediate, dynamic, gritty and character-led. I don't think you will, but you could almost imagine that you'd be able to smell it. We're always looking for opportunities to show off the dancers' versatility, and with these two choreographers there's going to be a wonderful contrast on the night.'
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Sun 1 Mar; Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Sun 8 Mar.