Founded in 1974 by a group of ballet enthusiasts for the purpose of presenting a playful, entertaining view of traditional, classical ballet in parody form and en travesti, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo first performed in the late-late shows in Off-Off Broadway lofts in New York. By mid 1975, the Trocks’ inspired blend of their loving knowledge of dance, their comic approach, and the astounding fact that men can, indeed, dance en pointe without falling flat on their faces, was being noted beyond New York.
After more than 25 years, the original concept of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo has not changed. It is a company of professional male dancers performing the full range of the ballet and modern dance repertoire, including classical and original works in faithful renditions of the manners and conceits of those dance styles. The comedy is achieved by incorporating and exaggerating the foibles, accidents, and underlying incongruities of serious dance. The fact that men dance all the parts – heavy bodies delicately balancing on toes as swans, sylphs, water sprites, romantic princesses, angst-ridden Victorian ladies – enhances rather than mocks the spirit of dance as an art form, delighting and amusing the most knowledgeable, as well as novices, in the audiences.
The company’s passion for repertory works, including extreme rarities, means that they offer rare opportunities to see these works on stage – even if with comic undertones. The current programme is, for them, fairly mainstream including the Grand Pas de Quatre, Swan Lake, Paquita, and Merce Cunningham-ish Patterns in Space, with John Cage-ish music!
Tickets from €18 € – €45,50 ticketone.it
Teatro Arcimboldi, Viale dell’Innovazione, Milan. Tel: 02 641142200
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.