Balletboyz, Roundhouse, review: A showcase of testosterone and poise


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The Independent Culture

The BalletBoyz’ Roundhouse shows are an end and a beginning: London’s last chance to see the admired double bill of Serpent and Fallen, plus a sneak preview of material from Young Men, the company’s next show.

With musicians from the BBC Concert Orchestra, it’s a showcase for the all-male company’s mix of testosterone and poise.

Young Men, choreographed by Iván Pérez, is inspired by the First World War. This first glimpse starts with the Boyz in stylised uniform. It’s still a work in progress, but the best moments find a line between brutality and tenderness.

A dancer pounces on another, wrestling him until his legs kick. Is he throttling an enemy, or steadying a comrade through a fit?  Keaton Henson’s strongest musical sequence has a throbbing whine that implies both a siren and gunfire. The complete work has its premiere next year.

Liam Scarlett’s Serpent has lost some of its fluidity, but the Boyz gave a weighted performance of Russell Maliphant’s Fallen. The ten dancers flow into circular pile-ups, lifting each other up and falling again. Conducted by Paul Murphy, the orchestra play Armand Amar’s score with heft and sweetness.

Until 1 August. Box office 0300 6789 222