Monday, December 11, 2017

Britain’s BalletBoyz make rare stop in Canada

November 12, 2014 by Blaire Aramenko, contributing writer

When 10 men from Britain hit the Royal Theatre stage this month, they may be built like Marines (one was even planning on joining the Marines before he found his passion) but they’re actually professional ballet dancers. The BalletBoyz transform all previous notions of ballet into a masculine display of strength.

Billy Trevitt and Michael Nunn founded BalletBoyz back in 2001. It was just the two of them in the beginning, and now they have passed the stage down to a new generation of BalletBoyz, who are currently on their first North American tour.

“A couple of the dancers have been with us now for four or five years,” says Trevitt. “They were boys when we took them on, and to see them develop, learn new skills, and grow in confidence has been great.”

This all-male British ballet crew is making their first-ever Canadian appearance here in Victoria (photo by Mark Barrs).

Trevitt and Nunn met at the Royal Ballet in London, England, where they both danced and later became principals of the school. After 12 years of dancing at the Royal Ballet, they left to pursue their ultimate dream: creating new dance work.

In order to create new dance work, they had to create their own company, and the founders know that teamwork is important in order for the company to thrive.

“We’ve known each other since we were 16 or 17 and worked together ever since. We make films together, we danced together for a very long time, and now we direct the company together,” says Trevitt. “We have a very close relationship; everything is almost unspoken because we know each other so very well.”

Trevitt and Nunn have accomplished the life that most dancers dream of: they have been able to make a living out of dance. Their dreams would not have come true if they had not learned an important lesson: forget about the budget.

“We have to be very strict with ourselves not to think too much about the money. If we just set our goals based on the budget and what we can afford, then we would never do anything,” says Trevitt. “So we have to turn our backs on that for a little while, dream big, make sure that what we want is achievable, and then we try to work out how to pay for it later.”

Everyone is prone to making mistakes, especially dancers on stage. The important thing is that the BalletBoyz don’t let mistakes set them back. Sometimes the best thing to do in a disastrous situation is to play it cool.

“A person misjudged a circle on the stage and jumped off the front and ran around and had to jump back on the other side,” Trevitt says about notable stage mishaps. “Half the audience didn’t notice and the other half thought it was deliberate. You can cover up almost anything on stage. I once had an experience where Michael and I were dancing together and I was convinced that we were facing the front and he was convinced we were facing the back, and we kept turning one another around to make sure that we were facing the audience.”

Thankfully, there are perks to outweigh any humiliation. One of Trevitt’s favourite perks of being a dancer is travelling to different places. His favourite places he has visited are Africa and Tokyo.

Trevitt is happy that the BalletBoyz will be able to visit Canada. Victoria is the first and only place in Canada that they are performing; however, Trevitt is determined that this will not be their last appearance in Canada. He has even expressed interest in collaborating with one of our fellow British Columbians.

“We are definitely interested in coming back to Canada. We have long admired the work of one of your locals, [dancer] Crystal Pite,” says Trevitt. “We’d love to do something with her at some point.”

BalletBoyz
Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15
$29 and up, Royal Theatre
balletboyz.com

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One Response to “Britain’s BalletBoyz make rare stop in Canada”
  1. Thanks for the article Blaire. Dance Victoria is really excited to present the Ballet Boyz performances at the Royal Theatre this weekend. Their show has been getting terrific reviews during their US tour this month.

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