November 9, 2023

BalletBoyz on Fire

On Thursday 9th November, the Dance Department took students to the infamous Sadlers Wells in London, to spend the evening watching BalletBoyz ‘England on Fire’, providing Students with an invaluable live experience and enabling them to develop their skills in appreciating dance. Saddlers Wells described the performance as “explosive” and billed the series as a collaboration of “over forty artists in the company’s [BalletBoyz] most ambitious, audacious, and political creation to date.”

England on Fire is based on the book of the same name, by Stephen Ellcock and Mat Osman. Dancers search for meaning amid the challenges of life, both in the modern and ancient worlds. Continuity is provided by a single dancer who features in every chapter, and by the music played live by musicians directed by Charlotte Harding, and post-punk rock band, Gag Salon.

According to Beth Butler, Dance lead, “The dance was a great example of collaboration between choreographers and designers of set, costume and lighting. This piece was different from work we have observed before, as each of the eight sections had been created by a different choreographer. The most beautiful section was ‘Water’ by Lucy Bennett (GCSE prescribed choreographer) where dancers moved fluidly through movement material. There were moments of humour, such as the trio with tinkly bells. The dancers wholly demonstrated superb dance technique, the unison was flawless and the movement hypnotising.”

The Students really appreciated the experience with Eliza, Lower Sixth, enthusing “I really enjoyed it. It was great seeing live musicians on stage.” Meanwhile Tyler, Year 9, added “The best bit was seeing the lifts and the trust between the dancers.”

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