Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Just watched...

..."Young Men," an exquisite dance film about war by BalletBoyz.

In 2015, the all-male English dance company BalletBoyz--started by veteran dancers and co-Artistic Directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt--mounted a highly successful live dance performance about World War I and the effect of war on young men titled, appropriately enough, "Young Men." And now that stage performance has been adapted and filmed on location in northern France in locations that simulate battlefields of World War I. Choreographed by Iván Pérez and danced--as well as acted--beautifully by the members of BalletBoyz, the film is hypnotic and intimate. It doesn't try to tell the story of an entire war, an entire armed force, or an entire country's reaction. It is told through the lens of a very small regiment, and most specifically a soldier for whom the war is clearly against his nature. At the core is a fight between two men: the Sergeant and the Soldier.

But the most arresting part of the film is the miraculous score by Keaton Henson (previously here). It is gripping, tender, and profound.

The trailer for the film gives you a good idea of its tone and timbre.

Here is the end of the "Training With The Sergeant" section:

And here is a bit of the "In The Trenches" section:

And finally, here is the disturbing "Shell Shock."

It was shown on PBS here in the States as part of the Great Performances series. I don't see where one can buy a DVD of the film. Looks like if you are in the UK, you can stream it from BBC, but otherwise, a DVD of the original stage production is available through the BalletBoyz SHOP section of their site.

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