Television Review – Ballet Boys
Germane to the review on ‘The Short History of a Prince’ was a 3-part series on Channel 4 early in 2000. It was Ballet Boyz videotaped by Trevitt and Nunn, two fairly senior dancers with the Royal Ballet. The series was quite interesting for the balletomane, but the real drama (whereby Trevitt, Nunn and three other premiers danseurs went off to form a company in Japan) was largely left camera. There was a shot or two of the celebrations on the contract signing. Trevitt (24 at the time) said it was the first adult act of his life.
The most interesting aspect of this series was the attitude taken to it (and to Trevitt and Nunn) by the television critics. The Indy’s man thought that the spelling “boyz”, and Trevitt’s being called ‘Billy’ meant that we were getting a “butch” message. (They don’t get out often enough, poor dears: too much telly).
The Grauniad man “puzzled over why ballet-master Christopher Carr should be nicknamed ‘Vicki’. Mr Carr was not as camp as the proverbial row of tents, so much as a full-scale International Jamboree. Both these reporters (and John Lyttle in the Daily Express) made an issue of these two men “rush[ing] out [to] record evidence that they are both married with children” [Guardian]. It was largely a few shots of Trevitt’s beautiful children, as they learned how to use the video equipment. And surely everybody points their camera at the family on first getting one?
The most dramatic moment in the series was when Anthony Dowell, Director of the Royal Ballet, led them into the refurbished Covent Garden opera house. (The opera and ballet companies had led a nomadic life for three or four years). This was the point where they had decided to fly the nest. Dowell, a great dramatic dancer for a quarter century, looked directly through the camera-lens into Trevitt’s eyes: he knew.
Reviewer: Angus CAMERON