NEW DANCE THE BALLET BOYZ Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Thu
14-Sat 16 Nov
Although not yet household names, on certain nights dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt’s faces have been seen by nearly two million UK telly-viewers. The pair are now popularly dubbed the Ballet Boyz, after the title of their laddish video diaries for Channel 4. The first series caught the dynamic duo’s former place of employment, the Royal Ballet, in a state of crisis. The second delved into the ups-and-downs of their first post-Royal tour of ballet- crazed Japan. A third is in the offing, this one focusing on the birth pangs of their London-based company George Piper Dances (the moniker is derived from Nunn and Trevitt’s middle names). Launched mid-summer 2001, George Piper has quickly become one of the smartest, sexiest troupes on the British dance scene. Rather than mountgala- style excerpts from warhorse classics, Nunn and Trevitt’s interest is in cutting-edge contemporary ballet. The five-
Video pas des
member company’s calling-cards were brilliantly judged. William Forsythe gave them his ravishing 1984 quartet Steptext, which they perform thrillingly well. They’ve also turned Russell Maliphant’s sharply ambiguous male duet Critical Mass into a signature piece. Both dances will be on George Piper’s Scottish debut bill.
Film has become a company trademark, both as part of the fabric of some works and as through-line. ‘In Scotland there will be film,’ Trevitt assures me during a rehearsal break. ‘We might put in local references, and have a live link to the dressing room. We’re in a pretty big venue there, so it’s a brave shout. They’re a well-educated audience. We’re going to have earn their respect.
‘We’re trying to a lot of things in a wide range of styles,’ he continues. Maliphant has tailored a second duet, ‘Torsion’, directly to Nunn and Trevitt’s talents.
They’ve also commissioned work from Charles Linehan (‘strange everyday movement strung together as dance’ is how Trevitt admiringly pegs it) and the ballet world’s hot young man-of-the-moment, Christopher Wheeldon. ‘We want to keep introducing ourselves to new people,’ Trevitt explains, ‘making new relationships. Nine times out of ten, those we ask are prepared to work with us.’
No matter how many modern twists and naturalistic wrinkles the George Piper repertory indulges in, ballet is still the base. Daily class keeps that training gratifyingly visible. ‘We can’t get rid of our in-bred poise,’ says Trevitt, ‘and it’d be a mistake to let it go.’ Now in their mid-30s, he and Nunn are aware of time limitations in a profession which typically most prizes youth. ‘We’ve got a few more years dancing in us. What are we gonna do with that?’ It’s going to be great fun watching these ‘Boyz’ as they grow. (Donald Hutera)
Net night in Glasgow
64 THE LIST 31 Oct 14 Nov 200?
l l SlIVAl
ARCHES LIVE! PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL Arches, Glasgow, Thu 7—Thu 21 Nov
It's been a treat to see so many quality revrvals of old classics on the Scottish stage recently. but such a spate of Shakespeares. Websters and Wildes leads inevrtably to the question of where the innovation happens. Without that. you don't get the classics. lhese days. Scotland's leading venue for adventurous and eclectic expt-rriment is surely the Arches. It you don't believe me. it's busy provrng the point again. so get along to the gaff.
This festival of live performance Incorporates 15 different acts, wrth a vast variety of performance disciplines. Several of the companies involved. such as Ra/or Octopus and the Working Party already boast growrng reputations on the Scottish arts scene.
while others Will be unknowns. seen for
the first time on Scottish stages.
The theme is largely contemporary. Wltll such satiric or observational targets as the emotional detritus of
postmodern popular culture. and family relations among the issues addressed. But there's even a contemporiserl. and rarely seen classic in Martin Dan/igers production of Marlowe's [)rdo for lheatre lvtodo thrown in among the treats. Dancer Sean luan .lohn's / rck my Heart promises this perforrner"s usual array of grim social observation and dark humour. while Donovan l‘ltnn's lhe /t// Over Show adds magic to the other performance skills on dispiay.
ln Tensions ersh 'd observes drunkenness through the eyes of bar staff, while expatriate American dance theatre artist I aura llope Steckler's multi media piece based on poems by her late mother. discovered after her death. brings a personal dimension to the festival. All this is just the tip of the iceberg. [)on't complain about prices as there are all kinds of discount ticket offers available. and £1(I()(3Sf$lt)l!lt‘, is a keyword. so get yourself along to see life in the flesh. cheaper than you can on celluloid. (Steve ()rarnen
Sta e Whis ers 9 P
Re: Tread/n9 the boards
ll ll Rt 8 Pl l NlY ()l good news for fans of Anthony Neiison over the next few weeks. The controversial
l ondon based Scottish dramatist will see two of his works produced here. It seems strange that a writer of Neilson‘s duality does much better business elsewhere than in his native Scotland. Although his dark satirical anti ()hristmas show [he Night Before (Ihustmas wrll. as in prevrous years. be touring Scotland (this time courtesy of lheatre
l USIon). little else of his gender challenging oeuvre has been seen in recent years.
An exception was his magnificent Stitch/rig at the Traverse. l or Whispers. this story of a declining and dysfunctional thirtysomething relationship was the pick of the l ringe. incorporating both narrative surprise and a deeply felt emotional authenticity beneath its often ueg and Violent representation of the central relationship. News that the original production. a ]()|llt Red Room and Bush lheatre project. is touring to the Iron should be greeted wrth excitement. Anyone who hasn't seen this piece should do so. for it is by far the most serious challenge to our comfortable perceptions of gender roles for some years. It can be seen from luesday 1? until Saturday 16 November.
His 199/ play. [he (,‘e/rsor. will receive its first fully professional production on a Scottish stage. this tale. of a 'nrnor' gowrnment film censor who is visited by a maker of skin flicks who Wishes him to pass her apparently unacceptable movre. appears to be a dark exploration of sexuality. But like Stitching. it's in truth much closer to an examination of emotional STOl‘llly and what causes it than a play about sexual mores. lnis production. at Dundee Hep. will be directed by the Widely respected actor director Sandy Nerlsorr. a name in his own right and the author's father. who distinguished himself With a production of lhe Night Before (,‘h/rstmas two years ago. You can see it late night from Monday 18 until lhursday 21 November.