BalletBoyz: The Talent, Royal Opera House, review: Company dances with muscled grace

The BalletBoyz dance well, but their repertory is ploughing the same furrow

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Eleven men crouch in a pack, until one surges upwards, leaning out like the figurehead on the prow of a ship. Alexander Whitley’s new The Murmuring, which opens a triple bill by BalletBoyz: The Talent, shows the all-male company dancing with muscled grace.

Set to music by electronic duo Raime, The Murmuring contrasts group dances with twisting, weighted solos. Marc Galvez stands out, all fast turns and fluid arms. Whitley’s career as a choreographer is taking off; The Murmuring responds to the BalletBoyz’ stage presence.

This Linbury season was commissioned by The Royal Ballet as part of Deloitte Ignite’s Myth season. Metheus, by Royal Ballet soloist Kristen McNally, looks back to the story of Prometheus.

Dancing together, two men untie each other’s waistbands, perhaps suggesting the eagle that gnawed the hero’s innards. A wary tango is more interesting, but McNally’s dance needs more drive. The music, film scores by Johnny Greenwood played live on stage, provides atmosphere but not structure.

The programme closes with  a revival of Christopher Wheeldon’s Mesmerics – another work with dim lighting and contemporary classical music.

The BalletBoyz are dancing well, but their repertory is ploughing the same furrow. I’d like to see them test their range.

Until 27 September. Box office 020 7304 4000

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