Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo Programme B
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male dance company en travesti, has been burlesquing traditional 19th century classical ballet since 1974. The Trocks, as they are affectionately known, have a global following.
Their repertoire can be enjoyed by balletomanes and audiences who know nothing at all about ballet. They are not only comic and mostly deadpan comic; they are also first-class dancers who can be absolutely serious and amazingly skilful on pointe.
The Trocks have brought two programmes to London and it's time to tutu again. Program Two, which includes Les Sylphides, Vivaldi Suite, Paquita Pas de Trois, The Dying Swan and Majisimas, is much more serious than Program One, which was reviewed last week. Majisimas (from Massenet's opera Le Cid) is particularly serious and lacking in foolery.
One of the best jokes comes throughout Les Sylphides when the bored and lethargic male lead gives an excellent demonstration on how not to partner the female lead. The Trocks in Vivaldi Suite and Paquita have fun with mismatched duets and trios. The ballerinas are so much taller than the males that they look ridiculous. Some ballerinas are so muscular and burly they could be in a rugby or American football team.
One of the company's most popular creations is the parody of The Dying Swan. If you have seen Pavlova's exquisite performance (and you can see her on YouTube), just wait till you see Robert Carter moulting all over the stage.
There is a delightful encore after the curtain calls when the whole company don Statue of Liberty headdresses and perform a typical Broadway showbiz number.
In the souvenir programme, there are jokey biographies of the dancers and their alter egos (with absurd cod-Russian names) and these are also good for a laugh.
Following their season in London, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo will visit Canterbury, Brighton, Norwich, Nottingham, Buxton, Hull, Bradford, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Truro and Belfast.
Reviewer: Robert Tanitch