‘Life, of course, is a big subject…’

Teodor Reljic speaks to William Trevitt and Michael Nunn – the duo behind Ballet Boyz, an eclectic British dance company founded on a philosophy of accepting and nurturing dancers from all social strata. Under the umbrella project ‘TALENT’, they will be performing their show ‘Life’ at this year’s edition of the Malta International Arts Festival

Ballet Boyz will be performing ‘Life’ at the Pjazza Teatru Rjal
Ballet Boyz will be performing ‘Life’ at the Pjazza Teatru Rjal

What would you say was the main impetus behind setting up TALENT, and how has it evolved over the years? 

The main impetus for setting up the Talent for us was to pass on the knowledge and repertoire we had acquired during our own careers, as dancers. The company has quickly evolved of the last few years, its popularity has grown enormously, and choreographers are very keen to work with the company, the Talent are a very inspiring group of men, with a unique bond which appeals to a wide audience.

Was it important to you to have dancers from different backgrounds on board? What were some of the main challenges in this regard, when you were first starting out?

When we started the Talent we invited any man who wanted to dance for us to attend an open audition, we did not look at CVs, we based our decision purely on the audition day – on who performed best and caught our eye.

This obviously has its challenges, when dancers are trained in different ways it takes a while to develop a company style and uniformity, but we feel our company is richer for it. The dancers are able to transfer their individual skills and share them with the group.

What can you tell us about the ‘Life’ show, and how does it define the work of the BalletBoyz so far?

Life is a show of two halves, both choreographers, Javier and Pontus, were given the same starting brief – the word ‘life’. This show really examines the dancers’ abilities, not only as dancers but also as actors and performers. We feel this performance truly reflects where the company is at the moment, and that’s very exciting for us to see as directors. Life, of course, is a big subject, and it is fascinating to see how each choreographer has expressed their feelings on the subject through their very different approaches to choreography.

You’ve performed in various countries over the years. Do you find that the language of dance travels easily from one country to another, and are you looking forward to performing in Malta?

Of course, dance can be understood and enjoyed anywhere in the world. It’s a universal language we all speak. Different countries have different challenges and also expectations of us, which is always fascinating to experience. No two audiences are ever the same.

This will be our first, but hopefully not our last, visit to Malta and we are very much looking forward to it. The dancers are very excited to perform there. It’s also the last performances of our season, so many of them have planned to stay for a while and enjoy a well-earned holiday.

Ballet Boyz will be performing ‘Life’ at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, Valletta on July 15 at 21:00 as part of the Malta Arts Festival. For more information and bookings, log on to: http://maltaartsfestival.org/event/ballet-boyz/