Nevasayneva to these boys

Louise Levene, Sunday Telegraph
Posted on

Ballet deconstruciton is only part of the Trock’s charm

(4 stars)

At the Peacock Theater, London, WC2  until October 4, 2008

True to her name and true to the greatest ballet traditions, the prima ballerina Ida Nevasayneva (the matchless Paul Ghiselin) was lured out of retirement for yet another immortal rendition of the Dying Swan, centerpiece of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.’s latest London visit.  The all male troupe began a 12-stop British tour with the usual impeccably-judged programme of low comedy and high art.

The audience were first softened up with the easy laughs and tough footwork of Swan Lake, Act 2, featuring Fernando Medina Gallego’s shameless Sveltlana Lofatkina (“The Chernobyl Cherub”).  Then after the interval came Elena Kunikova;s version of the odalisques pas de trois from Le Corsaire.  It’s choreographically kosher, but here can’t be a ballerina in the world who wouldn’t blush for shame (and at times even sigh with envy) to watch Raffaele Morra, Robert Carter and the steely-toed Chase Johnsey as they exaggerate every single bad habit and deconstruct every last ounce of charm.  All the tricks and the tics were there:  the shy peep at the feet over the edge of the tutu; that tiny snort of triumph as the last double pirouette is successfully turned.

Further joys were supplied by Peter Anastos’s La Trovatiara, an inspired pastiche of the pirates-and-maidens genre featuring the statuesque Madeline Kahn lookalike Katarina Bychkova (Joshua Grant), ineptly manhandled by the pint-sized Araf Legupski and Jacques d’Aniels.  By the time the troupe  had powered through Raffaele Morra’s hilariously Hispanic Majisimas, their strong technique and ferocious attack were earning bravas as well as belly laughs.