Pratfalls and Pirouettes

Louise Levene, Sunday Telegraph
Posted on

London, UK

Highbrow hilarity from New York’s marvelous all-male ballerinas

London’s summer of Russian ballet was really just a warm-up act for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, who have returned to the Peacock for 1- days of highbrow hilarity. The all-male New York ballerina model their manners on the grandest Russian style – the imperious strut of the danseur the snooty aplomb of the assoluta – and their technique is as impressive as their timing.  Some of the jokes are older than the dancers, but Tuesday’s audience didn’t know that and cheered with pleasure at both pratfalls and pirouettes.

We kicked off with Les Sylphides, featuring Brock Hayhoe as hilariously drippy Poet. The finale was a peppery rendition of Raymonda Act III led by the immortal Sveltlana Lofatkina (alias Fernando Medina Gallego), and in between came a generous selection of divertissements.

The statuesque Katerina Bychkova (Joshua Grant) powered through an utterly kosher La Vivandiere (a production the Trocks share with the Mikhailovsky Ballet). Ida Nevasayneva (Paul Ghiselin channeling Alicia Alonso) was coaxed out of retirement for one last Dying Swan, and our need for novelty was met by Patterns in Space, a sly Merce Cunningham send-up, complete with a lice John Cage-style score for sweet wrappers, bubble wrap and electric razor. Priceless.