Watch This Feature-Length Dance Film Inspired by World War I

It's a World War I film like nothing you can find on the History Channel. But it's not like any dance film you've seen before, either.

Young Men, choreographed by Iván Pérez, is a feature-length film starring British dance company BalletBoyz and based on a stage production of the same name. Conceived by BalletBoyz artistic directors and former Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, the film follows a young soldier as he prepares for war—and as he eventually experiences war's destruction and brutality.


It was shot on location in Northern France and features a score by singer-songwriter Keaton Henson. And if it's anything like what we've seen from BalletBoyz in the past, Young Men will be the perfect blend of sleek ballet technique and innovative storytelling.


Catch it tonight on PBS at 9pm EST. (Check your local listings.)

Latest Posts


Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

How Do Choreographers Bring Something Fresh to Music We've Heard Over and Over?

In 2007, Oregon Ballet Theatre asked Nicolo Fonte to choreograph a ballet to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. "I said, 'No way. I'm not going near it,' " recalls Fonte. "I don't want to compete with the Béjart version, ice skaters or the movie 10. No, no, no!"

But Fonte's husband encouraged him to "just listen and get a visceral reaction." He did. And Bolero turned into one of Fonte's most requested and successful ballets.

Not all dance renditions of similar warhorse scores have worked out so well. Yet the irresistible siren song of pieces like Stravinsky's The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, as well as the perennial Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, seem too magnetic for choreographers to ignore.

And there are reasons for their popularity. Some were commissioned specifically for dance: Rite and Firebird for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Boléro for dance diva Ida Rubinstein's post–Ballets Russes troupe. Hypnotic rhythms (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) and danceable melodies (Bizet's Carmen) make a case for physical eye candy. Audience familiarity can also help box office receipts. Still, many choreographers have been sabotaged by the formidable nature and Muzak-y overuse of these iconic compositions.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS