The holidays can be such a fun-filled frenzy of activity that I often forget what happens next. January truly can be a dreary month after the splashy sparkle of December. However, I’ve learned to make plans for the upcoming New Year, so that there’s plenty to anticipate.
The return of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, New York’s famed all male ballerinas, to Vancouver is one such event to put on your calendar for 2017.
On January 20-21, 2017 at 8pm at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Show One Productions is bringing the troupe and their infectious blend of cross-dressing comic exaggeration and technical artistry to town. Lovers of such classics as Don Quixote, La Esmeralda, and Swan Lake can look forward to seeing them reinvented by this saucy and inventive group of dancers.
I’m a big fan of ballet, but I can see this show also appealing to people who are new to ballet as well, or who would enjoy a bit of playful irreverence inserted into the dance form. For example, my boyfriend took ballet lessons briefly as a kid, and although he doesn’t go regularly to dance performances now, he’s drawn to Les Ballets Trockadero’s unique concept.
The idea was hatched in 1974 in New York when a professional group of dancers decided to perform parodies of classical ballet. Originally appearing in late shows in off Broadway lofts, the troupe quickly developed a cult-like following, becoming affectionately known as The Trocks. Devotees adored the showcasing of ballet and modern dance techniques, along with an exaggerated and hilarious mimicry of the conceits and conventions of these styles. The male dancers elaborated dressed as princesses, Victorian ladies, and swans – all dancing en pointe – further adds to the blended effect.
Since their start in the 1970s, the troupe has toured the world, performing in over 34 countries and 600 cities. Longer engagements have included shows at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, as well as the Théâtre du Châtelet and Folies Bergère in Paris. Their long list of appearances and media attention includes a photo essay in Vogue, articles in Variety and The London Daily Telegraph, and various TV appearances, such as a Shirley MacLaine special and a BBC Omnibus show on the world of ballet. And their accolades range from the 2007 Positano Award (Italy) for dance excellence to a 2007 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award (UK).
There are still plenty of seats available ($29 to $129) for purchase on-line or by phone (1-877-840-0457). Last time Les Ballets Trockadero were in Vancouver, performances sold out, so don’t delay in getting your tickets.