In the beginning of April, the Boyz packed their packs and flew to Italy for three performances of Fourteen Days, BalletBoyz’ latest show. Choreographed by four different choreographers who worked together with four different composers, the show is as exciting and varied as you might expect. When the Boyz returned to the studio this week for rehearsals for the upcoming UK tour, we sat down with Harry Price and Kyle White to ask them a few questions about how their experience had been.
The first thing they mention is that audiences tend to vary around the world, and that Italy was no exception. “During the show, the audience seems to be really focused on the performance, so they are very quiet. Then, when it is time for us to take our curtain call, they are very appreciative and clap for a really long time!” Harry explains. Kyle, one of the newest members of the company, was also struck by the warmth they all received from the audiences. He says that “it’s nerve-wracking to perform a show as physically demanding and diverse as Fourteen Days for the first time.” He tells us he felt extremely nervous on their opening night in Cremona, but was given a confidence boost by the audience’s response and the collaborative spirit that is characteristic of the BalletBoyz dancers. “I definitely feel more relaxed about going on stage during the UK tour after experiencing the Italian venues. I’ve learnt to focus on enjoying the process rather than worrying about the performing and that’s helping me feel more and more comfortable with each piece as time goes by.”
But, as with everything else, touring doesn’t come without its challenges. Harry mentions that “rakes seem to be common in Italy, which has a big effect on our performance.” It especially influences the first piece of the evening, The Title is In The Text, in which the Boyz spend most of their time balancing on a seesaw. “Another challenge is pacing ourselves throughout the day, as Italian performances start at 9pm instead of our usual 7.30pm” add Kyle. “It means that the show doesn’t end until around 11pm. When you add all the travelling we have to do on top of that, it requires a lot of energy.”
Despite the challenges however, Harry and Kyle mention they loved the culture of the country they were visiting. “The food is definitely the best!” says Harry. “We all love touring so much because it means we get to travel the world. We are really lucky to be able to do what we love most, dancing, whilst also getting the chance to experience new cultures, explore new cities, and meet new people.”
Kyle is one of three new dancers who joined BalletBoyz recently, and Harry explains the effect newcomers have on the dynamic of the close-knit group: “It must be tricky for new dancers to get used to working with us. We all know each other very well after a long time of dancing together. It is exciting to perform with new dancers though, because they bring something new to the studio which helps the rest of us to grow and improve as performers.” Kyle adds that “you need to find your own space and role within the group. It is important not to force anything, but to be patient and follow a natural development.” He mentions that he feels really motivated by his fellow dancers, both BalletBoyz veterans and the recent newbies.
Kyle has only just started performing Fourteen Days, but Harry has been rehearsing the show for nearly a year now. “All of us who were part of the creation process know the different parts to each piece, so we’re able to switch the casting up every now and then” says Harry, explaining how the pieces remain fresh and exciting. “This allows us to experience it through new eyes, which means that we can include nuances for the audience to enjoy. The new dancers only add to this.” Kyle and Harry both agree on the fundamental part Michael and Billy, Artistic Directors, and Charlotte, Rehearsal Director, play in this process. “They always push us to be the best dancers we can be by changing things up sometimes and adding our own personalities to the movement. They really allow us the freedom to play with the different parts amongst ourselves, meaning that we can grow our relationships and performances on stage.”
Harry and Kyle thank Italy for having them, and hope to see you all out on tour in the UK very soon! Find out more about our performance dates here.