Balletboyz 'Greatest Hits', Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

3.00

The boys are back and looking to the future

You expect a greatest hits programme to look back. For these London dates, Balletboyz William Trevitt and Michael Nunn found both a touch of nostalgia and a nod to the future. Ballerina Viviana Durante, appearing as a guest star, was a reminder of the Boyz' past in classical ballet. Laws of Motion, danced and choreographed by teenagers, hints at new directions for Trevitt and Nunn, as much as for their protégés.

Durante, Trevitt and Nunn have a shared history. They're from the same Royal Ballet generation, trained at the same school, dancing with the company through the 1990s, then moving on. Durante was by far the biggest star, promoted and profiled alongside Darcey Bussell. She made national headlines in a row over partnering, eased her way out of the Royal Ballet, and has barely been seen in Britain since.

In the new millennium, she's spent much of her career in her native Italy and especially in Japan. Like the Boyz, she spent time there with the hugely popular K Ballet. Earlier this year, she made a brief dancing appearance in Tony Harrison's play Fram at the National Theatre.

At this performance, she dances a duet with William Trevitt. William Tuckett's On Before is a short, soft piece that shows them off without putting too many demands on their classical technique. Both dancers look good, but this didn't tell me much about Durante as a dancer now. In her floaty chiffon and soft slippers, she's still charismatic, but Tuckett's wistful choreography is neither a challenge nor a star vehicle.

As she curves her arm around, Trevitt mirrors her gesture, the back of his hand never quite touching hers. They lean against each other, weight gently shifting until she is lifted up into the air. The choreography isn't classical, but you can't miss their ballet training, their smooth lines. As Durante is carried high, she holds her shoulders calmly open, head high on her long neck.

The John Adams music mixes atmospheric hums and an unexpected slice of voiceover, samples of an American evangelist talking about faith healing. It's so incongruous that it's a surprise when Durante's repeated shrug catches the voice's speech rhythms.

At the other end of the scale, the 15-year-old Kai Downham created Laws of Motion earlier this year. Trevitt and Nunn saw Downham and his three colleagues, all from Folkestone, at a National Youth Dance event. Speaking on one of the Boyz' trademark video links, these young dancers explain that they got into dance through school lessons: here's an education success story. With their tattoos, piercings and gelled hair, this young group have a boy band appeal. To judge by the audience screams, they already have a fan base.

Laws of Motion is most notable for its relaxed, confident movement. Downham's swung arms and crouches recall Hofesh Shechter's loping choreography, but uses a more upright stance. Shoulders swing, hands are shaken delicately at chest height. Downham can combine big and little movements: those hands don't look finicky. The use of stage space is interesting, with dancers grouped at angles, right at the edges of the stage. It starts as a trio, with a fourth man quietly slipping in from the wings.

This may be where the Balletboyz go next. They've always been their own leading dancers; in recent years, they've spoken frankly about the shortness of the dancer's career. Promoting dance, particularly to boys, has been at the heart of their company. It's heartening, but not surprising, to find them focusing on the next generation.

Downham's choreography also shows the Boyz's influence. This Greatest Hits evening brings together favourite works, including Russell Maliphant's Broken Fall, originally created with Sylvie Guillem in the woman's role. Across several choreographers, several styles, there's the same use of weight. These dancers lean against each other, use each other for balance and support. It's there again in Laws of Motion: a distinctive style for men dancing together.

Touring to 10 February (www.gpdances.com)

Arts and Entertainment
In stitches: Stephen Fry with weaver Catarina Caba in Chajul, Guatemala
tvReview: Stephen Fry in Central America
Arts and Entertainment
Go fish: crew member Stevie with a hake onboard the ‘Govenek of Ladram’
TVThe format now goes fishing in the Atlantic in Channel 4's The Catch
Life and Style
A bout time: Bill Richmond (far right) with fellow boxer Tom Cribb (second from right), squaring up to Tom Molineaux
Books
Arts and Entertainment
Free hand: Dr Richard Clay in A Brief History Of Graffiti
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Visitors must first get through security to enter the park. This can include being searched, emptying bags and even being instructed to touch your toes.

art
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Hopkins in Westworld

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rock and role: Jamie Bell's character Benjamin Grimm is transformed into 'Thing' in the film adaptation of Marvel Comics' 'Fantastic Four'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Katie Hopkins veered between sycophancy and insult in her new chat show
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
In his role as Hamlet, Benedict Cumberbatch will have to learn, and repeat night after night, around 1,480 lines

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Belgian sexologist Goedele Liekens with pupils at Hollins Technology College in Accrington
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The rapper Drake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The gaffer: Prince Philip and the future Queen in 1947
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Style icons: The Beatles on set in Austria
film
Arts and Entertainment
By Seuss! ‘What Pet Shall I Get?’ hits the bookshops this week
Books
Arts and Entertainment
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after Enola Gray and her crew dropped the bomb
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Elliott outside his stationery store that houses a Post Office
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Film review Tom Cruise, 50, is still like a puppy in this relentless action soap opera

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future