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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo blends serious dance with humour

All male dance company performs traditional ballets with its dancers filling both the male and female roles

It was nearly thirty years between Vancouver shows for Les Ballets Trockodero de Monte Carlo when they performed here in 2015. Now, almost a year to the day of that sold-out show last year, the all-male ballet troupe returns with a new batch of ridiculously re-interpreted classical ballets.

“It was a thrill to re-introduce Vancouver to these superb dancers and comic geniuses back in 2015,” says Svetlana Dvoretsky, president and executive producer of Show One Productions. “That ‘The Trocks’ could sell out houses after more than thirty year absence was a testament to the international cult following the company has built around their affectionately irreverent interpretations of classical dance.”

In the four decades since the company’s founding, the original concept of Les Trocks has not changed. The company of professional male dancers perform with faithful and attentive detail in such classical dances as Swan Lake, La Esmeralda, and Don Quixote. They then combine their skills as dancers with a healthy dose of humour.

The comedy emerges by incorporating and exaggerating the foibles, accidents, and underlying incongruities of serious dance. The result is a wholly unique dance performance that organizers say enhances, rather than mocks the spirits of dance as an art form.

“On one level, this comes from the humour of full-grown men in drag and en pointe,” said Dvoretsky in a 2015 interview.  “Audiences quickly realize, however, this playfulness is backed by athletic and artistic skill of the highest degree.  Even as they make you laugh, they take your breath away.”

Photo by Marcello Orselli.
The male dancers of Les Ballets Trockodero de Monte Carlo may wear tutus but their skills are legendary. Photo by Marcello Orselli.

For Dvoretsky though it is the skill of the dancers that keeps the show from straying into the dangerous territory of reaffirming or exacerbating gender stereotypes.

“When you have a combination of talent, great taste, and a sense of humour, it all works into the magic,” she says.

[With files from Andrea Loewen]

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on January 20 & 21. Tickets are available online at Tickets Tonight.

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