We got to speak to Benjamin Knapper of BalletBoyz about their new show “Deluxe”.
Due to the current ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 and following government advice on 16 March 2020, the remaining performances of BalletBoyz UK spring tour of Deluxe, including dates at London Sadler’s Wells from 25-27 March 2020 and the national press night, are sadly cancelled.
In light of this however, BalletBoyz is now planning to share Deluxe via digital platforms and enabling audiences to experience the latest work of the company. To tune in live tomorrow (Friday 27th 2020) 7.30pm go to Sadler’s Wells Facebook page or the website.
How did you get into dance, was there a particular performance you saw that resonated with you?
I got into dance around aged 14 by starting local dance classes and also through GCSE dance at my high school. When I was first introduced to contemporary dance I saw and studied Ghost Dances by Christopher Bruce for Rambert Company and completely fell in love and knew I wanted a career in dance.
Can you tell us about your current, show Deluxe at Sadler’s Wells and on UK Tour – what can people expect?
Our show Deluxe is a double bill with works by Maxine Doyle and Xie Xin. Audiences can expect to be thrilled by two very contrasting works. Prepare to be stunned by the theatricality and physical energy of Bradley 4:18 and the fluid softness of Ripple. Deluxe may not leave you feeling one certain way but instead will leave you questioning and thinking about the works.
What was it like collaborating on the show with Xie Xin and Maxine Doyle?
Collaborating with Maxine and Xie Xin was a very exciting thing to be a part of. A lot of our input as dancers was considered as part of the process which really got us invested. Both choreographers worked in such different ways so it was a pleasure to see how two different creative processes came together to create the show.
How does it feel to be celebrating 20 years of BalletBoyz?
It feels great to be in the company and be able to celebrate the 20 year anniversary. I think Deluxe is a fantastic way to represent 20 years of BalletBoyz.
What can dance teach you about life?
Dance can teach you lots, independence, resilience and expression are among the many skills that are incorporated into dance that are transferable to life. Dance can teach you not to take yourself to seriously whilst also making one hard working and determined.
What challenges can touring a show bring with sets and costumes?
Touring a show always has its hiccups as different venues pose different challenges so it can sometimes be hard to put our show on in smaller venues but thanks to our great team we always make it work.
Where has been your favourite place to perform on stage and why?
Performing ‘Young Men’ at the Joyce Theatre in New York was a personal highlight of mine as it has always been a dream to go to New York so to perform there was really special.
Who are your influences and inspirations?
Many of my influences and inspirations come from all the talented people I am lucky to work with. They inform a lot of what I do and help me aspire to always keep exploring and developing my artistry.
Where can people follow your work on Twitter/Facebook/YouTube etc?
BalletBoyz presents Deluxe to celebrate their 20th anniversary year. The production will be available via digital platforms.