Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, BalletBoyz founders, are hailed as pioneers for making dance accessible and reaching wide audiences through their celebrated stage and television work. After leaving The Royal Ballet, they came to prominence through extensive National and International Touring, as well as through their popular television documentaries.
Founded in 2000, BalletBoyz established itself as one of the most original and innovative forces in modern dance: revolutionising programming formats, commissioning work and collaborating with cutting-edge talents. The company’s chief aim is to challenge, excite and enlighten audiences through its work, bringing together elements from diverse realms of the arts including composers, artists, designers and filmmakers.
The company has won numerous awards and nominations including an Olivier Award, National Dance Awards, an International Emmy and The Golden Prague and Rose d’Or Awards twice. In 2013 BalletBoyz won Best Independent Company in the National Dance Awards, Best Modern Choreography for Russell Maliphant’s Fallen, while Michael Hulls won the 2014 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his work with BalletBoyz. In 2016, the company’s first feature film was broadcast: Young Men won The Golden Prague Arts Award (2017) and the Rose d'Or in the Arts Category, rewarding originality, quality and creativity.
Alongside their stage and screen work, the company is engaged in many projects which offer dance opportunities to those who find themselves marginalised by traditional dance offerings. Classes, workshops and residencies are delivered from the BalletBoyz studios, working with a diverse range of participants across a variety of dance disciplines.
BalletBoyz continue to inspire, educate and showcase dance in the best possible ways, bringing our creations to as wide an audience as possible.
Our Artistic Directors
Michael and Billy met as students at the Royal Ballet School. In 1987 they graduated into The Royal Ballet company where they danced for twelve years, performing major roles and working with the most important choreographers of the Late 20th Century. During this time, a shared interest in photography and film found them creating a documentary for Channel 4, titled BalletBoyz. The four-part series revealed their lives as “ordinary” ballet dancers.
Their fascination with the twin strands of stage and screen has continued throughout their careers. Leaving The Royal Ballet in 1999 to pursue greater creative freedom, they headed to Japan where they were founding members of K-Ballet.
Soon after, they returned to London to launch their own dance company, BalletBoyz. During the first decade, they created and performed a variety of works with choreographers including William Forsythe, Michael Clark, Akram Khan, Liv Lorent, Matthew Bourne and Christopher Wheeldon.
In 2004 they won the Laurence Olivier Award for Russell Maliphant’s Broken Fall, performing with Sylvie Guillem, returning to the Royal Opera House as Guest Principal dancers. During this period, they created numerous arts documentaries and dance films including: BalletBoyz II, set in Japan; Rise and Fall – featuring the work of Russell Maliphant; a gala performance and films to celebrate the retirement of their classmate Darcey Bussell; and a digital corps de ballet for Christopher Wheeldon’s work Electric Counterpoint. They won the prestigious Rose d’Or award and an International Emmy for Strictly Bolshoi which followed Wheeldon as he became the first Englishman to choreograph for the Bolshoi Ballet. This was followed by a film about The Royal Ballet’s first visit to Cuba, and a specially commissioned The Rite of Spring which won the Golden Prague Grand Prix award.
Following their retirement from the stage in 2009 they reinvented BalletBoyz, bringing young dancers together to create an initial all-male dance company that has grown into the award-winning group performing tonight. Working with various choreographers, including Liam Scarlett, Alexander Whitley, Paul Roberts, Fernanda Lippi and Javier de Frutos, they have added dozens of work to the repertoire which tours nationally and internationally to great acclaim. Film production continued with: The Next Generation, a film about the new line-up of the company; Kama Sutra for SkyArts; and 40+ short films for Channel 4. In 2014 they commissioned Young Men, choreographed by Iván Pérez. Based on themes of war and soldiering, it became the foundation for their first movie, a unique combination of film-making and story-telling through the language of dance. Young Men premiered on BBC2 on Armistice Day 2016 and won several awards. Michael and Billy are Associate Artists at Sadler’s Wells and were made OBEs in 2012.
Michael Waldman (Chair)
Mary Anne Cordeiro