|Image found here.|
This was the most unique ballet I've ever seen. Why? Well, as you might be able to see in the photo above, all of the dancers are men! The company was founded in 1974, and they really prove that men CAN dance en pointe! The show was very funny, and the dancers sometimes purposefully missed cues or would fall all over themselves. They were so expressive, batting their eyelashes and grinning like Cheshire cats. Hilarious!
I also liked that in the program book the dancers go by made-up names, like "Natasha Notgoodenoff" and funny things like that. On their website, you can see the names of the real dancers, along with their female and male "dancer" names (mostly Russian-sounding)! The bios in the program went something like this:
"Before defecting to the West, Lariska Dumbchenko's supreme agility aroused the interest of the Russian space program, and in 1962 she became the first ballerina to be shot into orbit. Hurtling through the stratosphere she delivered handy make-up tips to an assembled crowd of celebrities back on earth, including the now legendary 'Whitney Houston, we have a problem...'"
My favorite part of the show was their rendition of bits from Swan Lake. Here are some photos and videos:
|This is the bad guy who controlled lightning with his hands. His red hair made me think of the Heat Miser (see below).|
Image found here.
The Dying Swan
The next part was Le Corsaire Pas de Deux (these guys are so strong!):
That was followed by "Pas de Six" from La Esmeralda. This was my least favorite part of the show. The back-up dancers were dressed like Tina Turner (fringe/sparkly dresses and all!), and Esmeralda's character acted like she had some major emotional problems, unlike the beloved Disney character:
Ending the night was a piece from Don Quixote. I don't remember much of the story, but this performance had no horse or windmills, so I was sad about that! There was a hunched figure (some sort of fairy godmother?), and most of the dancers were in garish costumes (my least favorite part of ballet in general!). But there were some dancers who played Gypsies, playing tambourines and reading palms, so I thought that was fun!
I usually go to the ballet for the art, but I loved how the "Trocks" added humor to dance! Here's a note from the program book:
"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, [and] water sprites...enhances rather than mocks the spirit of dance as an art form, delighting and amusing the most knowledgeable, as well as novices..."
I hope they "keep on Trockin'" for years to come!