“A group of young men brought together by the indiscriminate brutality of war struggle to maintain their humanity in an unending cycle of combat and death… These young men succumb to the terror of their situation in a myriad of ways. The ruthless, indiscriminate brutality of war takes its mental and bodily toll on these comrades, as they struggle to survive one day’s destruction, only to wake to another’s mortal threats”.
Internationally acclaimed all-male dance company BalletBoyz will be reviving their sell-out stage production ‘Young Men’ in their debut performance at Wilton’s Music Hall, London, this autumn. The full-length production will feature as part of the final season of 14-18 NOW, a five-year major cultural programme of incredible arts experiences taking place across the UK, connecting people with the First World War, and marking the Centenary of the Armistice.
An intensely moving tale of love, friendship, loss and survival, ‘Young Men’ explores the themes of war, and the bonds that develop between the men who train and fight together, chronicling the experiences of young soldiers sent to fight in The Great War. Drawing inspiration from images of conflict throughout the ages, and particularly in the First World War, the production is a poignant and powerfully compelling hybrid of live dance, theatre, music and film, offering a deeply moving portrayal of the desolation of warfare.
‘Young Men’ is co-commissioned by BalletBoyz and 14-18 NOW, with support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
This new adaptation will feature sections from the original stage version, which premiered at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 2015, against the backdrop of their award-winning BBC screen adaptation, which saw them become the first ever dance company to present a full-length feature film. The debut film, shot on location in Northern France with a re-worked musical score and production design, is a bold and powerful silent period drama that tells the story of young men who fight in, and ultimately are consumed by, war.
In September 2017 the film won the Rose d’Or award in the Arts Category, an award which rewards originality, quality and creativity and sets the gold standard of excellence in entertainment programming. The film also received a nomination for the highly renowned Golden Prague award, and was described as “a project of high ambition, superbly executed on screen by a rare combination of imaginative choreography, exciting camerawork, evocative lighting and powerful music.”.
Winners of the 2013 National Dance Award for Best Independent Company and applauded the world over for their groundbreaking stage, film and outreach projects, BalletBoyz remain at the forefront of digital dance creation. Artistic Directors Michael Nunn OBE and William Trevitt OBE continue the company’s reputation for innovative use of film in ‘Young Men’, adapting award-winning Iván Pérez’ evocative stage and film choreography, and singer-songwriter Keaton Henson’s haunting score to interweave live dance – performed by the TALENT, an incredible company of eleven male and two female dancers – music and film.
Regarding this exciting new adaptation, Nunn and Trevitt said, “’Young Men’ is a very special project to us, so we’re thrilled to be able to reunite film and performance in such an incredible venue, especially at such a significant time.”
“A potent combination of music and choreography, [Young Men] is an immersive emotional journey into the reality facing young men at the extremes of human experience”.
Young Men will play at Wilton’s Music Hall from Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th November.