Funny, farcical and astounding! A show that will make you laugh till you hurt!
Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo, or the Trocks, are almost indescribable. Only a few words come to mind; fantastic, hilarious, bizarre.
The Trocks are an all male ballet company who perform some of the most iconic ballets scenes all around the world. This particular night we were treated to scenes from Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, and Don Quixote, amongst others. However, with the Trocks you get more than you bargained for, think swans with chest hair and bulging biceps, princes and noble men with tights so tight they might have actually been sprayed on, and classic ballets infused with farce and comedy!
Having never danced ballet, or been to a ballet before I was worried that I would be sat there missing a lot of ‘in-jokes’ but that wasn’t the case. The comedy in the Trocks’ shows is physical and clever created through the sassiness of the characters they assume, and I don’t mean characters as in the Queen of the Swans or Basil from Don Quixote. Each Trock has a ballerina persona and a danseur persona, most of them with very punny Russian sounding names, such as Sergi Legupski, and with very distinct personalities. My favourite was Maria Paranova, who danced the Dying Swan – her show-boating and attention seeking curtain call was the funniest part of the routine!
Splitting the show into three acts with two intervals was a great idea, it allowed you to recognise the changes from ballet to ballet and gave the crew time to clean up the feathers after some of the Swan Lake routines. My only issue with that structure is that the second act, in which Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, Going for Barocco, and Dying Swan were danced, felt a bit short.
Of the three acts the first was the funniest. There was an almost constant rumble of laughter throughout the audience, as we watched some scenes from Swan Lake featuring comically out of time swans, an over exuberant Von Rothbart chasing swans, and a hopelessly needy Benno attempt to assist his Prince.
I’d like to stress the skill of the dancers as well. Yes this is a comedy show, but the ballet is also awe inspiring! These are men dancing en pointe! Even with my lack of ballet knowledge I could appreciate the difficulty of standing right on the tip of one’s toes, especially for men who aren’t tiny ballerinas. Then there were phenomenal jumps and spins when it seemed they had somehow figured out how to slow time. I have no other explanation for how they managed to fit so many twists and moves in a single leap!
Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo is not to be missed. Whether you are a ballet aficionado or completely in the dark about it all you will love the comedy, the characters and the farce and be amazed by the skill of the dancers.
Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo was performed at the Mayflower Theatre 9th-10th October. To find out more details of the continuing tour, look here.