Spoiler alert – in BalletBoyz’s Young Men at The Joyce Theater, everyone dies at the end. Founders of the all-male U.K. Company, Michael Nun and William Trevitt are bent on making collaborative works. The collaboration here is the feature-length film of the same name paired with dance, which for the most part is seamless, but unbalanced. Choreographer Iván Pérez’s Young Men is replete with lush partnering, trusting lifts, canons that leave no dancer behind, and sequences that repeat, and repeat. His danced story is a retelling of many from World War I—women are left behind, they commiserate longingly because their men go off to war, but they dream of their return. In period costumes, Young Men opens with the men of BalletBoyz as soldiers on screen, then on stage gruffly pressed to run drills over and over again. Individually, or in different pairings, they run laps, slide into the floor from exhaustion and push right back to standing, leading with their elbows. This is their pace. Or they fold in, toes, torso and fingers curled with anguish. PTSD sets in when the sole soldier returns home only to die in the arms of the only women (Elizabeth McGorian and Jennifer White)—those left behind. Sadly the film took center-stage (very long dance scenes), and so much more time than the live dance. The longer the evening ran, the more the urge to see live dance grew. The dancers are Benjamin Knapper, McGorian, Harry Price, Matthew Rees, Liam Riddick, Matthew Sandiford, Bradley Waller and White. Young Men is presented in two acts at The Joyce Theater and runs until Sunday, February 3.
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."