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Sunday, 23 October 2016

*Interview with Matthew Sandiford, Balletboyz


I remember the first time I saw BalletBoyz back in 2013/14, it's so vivd in my memory with their stunning movement style and the ability to show the best in male dancers of our age. I loved them so much that I saw their piece twice in two different locations, I was hooked to their energy that I remember that I had to show my mum how incredible they were.

So they're back again at the Curve Theatre in Leicester as part of their recent touring production of Life. As the Sunday Times said it presents itself to be Dazzling…Brilliant…Exhilarating and it's definitely a performance you don't want to miss.

I was lucky enough to catch one of their dancers, Matthew Sandiford to chat about this production and to get a feel for what we're going to see.

Q. Hi Matthew, welcome back to Leicester. So let's start with the basics, what is the new production  Life about?

A. So the new dance production 'Life' consists of 2 parts. The first piece 'Rabbit' is choreographed by Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg. The second 'Fiction' by choreographer Javier De Frutos.

Q. Are the two works a variation in tempo or dynamics? Why were these two pieces of work put together?

A. I'd say the two pieces are very different from each other. 'Rabbit' is set to music by Górecki and has a slow calm start and finish, with moments of speed and power throughout. 'Fiction' set to text, music by Ben Foskett and a Donna Summer track is a roller coaster of a journey with a fast paced attitude. Artistic Directors Michael Nunn & William Trevitt knew they'd be getting two very different works when having Pontus & Javier to create, so knew that such different works connected with the theme of life would result in an interesting show.

Q. Life takes on the sensitive subject at life and death, was this a difficult creative process to look at and what was the creative process like for this production?


A. In terms of the creative process both choreographers had a very different approach.
Pontus looked at the theme of life and had a very set idea alongside set choreography which he bought to the studio. He created this world that looks at one man and perhaps his imagination and loneliness. It was very much a process in which we learnt the steps and layered on the different qualities. Javier decided to look at the theme of death (his own faked death) and its aftermath and affect on us dancers. He worked closely with the music and text within the score to cleverly create and sculpt the piece. This was a very collaborative creation between Javier, Ben Foskett the composer and us the dancers.

Q. What do you think it is about Balletboyz which gives it appeal to audiences and the reputation that you have as a company across the UK?

A. I believe Balletboyz offer such a versatile show and collection of repertoire that caters to such an open range of audience members. I think audiences enjoy seeing an all male company perform with strength and power alongside caring sensitivity. & the fact that we're 10 very different guys with different dancing backgrounds and styles that all come together within the shows. I mention every time I'm interviewed about how close we all are and that we're like a little family, maybe this is something audiences read and hopefully that's another reason they keep coming back.

Q. What can people look forward to from watching Life?
A. People watching 'Life' can expect a journey through a surreal imagination involving some rabbits & an emotional feast exploring the aftermath of death around a giant barre.


You can catch the Balletboyz perform at the Curve Theatre in Leicester on Mon 24 and Tues 25 October. To book your tickets and find out about this and more great Dance productions coming to Leicester visit their website here
thanks for reading,

Disclaimer: I was invited to interview Matthew Sandiford from Balletboyz for The Curve Theatre in Leicester in return for this post to be published. The photos are sourced from The Curve Theatre website.

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