Chatting with the BalletBoyz
Any dancer who plans on auditioning for companies anytime soon should watch “A Chance to Dance.” The new series on Ovation follows the affable British BalletBoyz Billy Trevitt and Michael Nunn as they audition dancers across the US in order to form a new troupe. The show gives an inside peek at their process, and what they’re thinking as they decide which dancers to hire. Pointe asked the two directors a few questions about the project.
What inspired you to take part in “A Chance to Dance”?
We loved the idea of a search for dancers from a pool that was totally new to us, finding dancers with different skills and approaches to their art from the ones that we know in the UK.
Did you notice any difference between American and British dancers?
The most striking difference was in style. American dancers have developed a whole new genre of dancing, one in which you develop a series of personal moves that best describe you as a dancer. We ended up getting used to this ability and may well miss it when we return to the UK.
Out of a room full of dancers in these auditions, what made people stand out?
This is a difficult question as the answer is always different. Just when you think you’ve found the perfect physique, it turns out they have no technique or no ideas to offer, or perhaps they have physical challenges but are incredibly creative. We are always looking for the ultimate blend of ability and charisma, but we are constantly surprised by what works in a dancer, and therefore have to keep a very open mind.
How do you think the recent surge of reality dance shows on television will affect the field of dance?
The most exciting result of having so much dance on TV is that the audience now knows a great deal about what they see. It means that standards have to keep getting higher for television productions and following on from that, in live performances.
Catch the second episode of “A Chance to Dance” tonight on Ovation at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT.