Finding the line between serious dancing and comedy is not always easy.
Starting tonight, the all-male dance troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is setting up a three-week holiday engagement at The Joyce. With their excellent dance skills and flamboyant parodies of well-known ballets, the “Trocks” as they’re known, make for a pretty fun holiday outing. We talked with dancer Robert Carter about the new material they’re debuting and got some tips from him on maintaining an aura of elegance for the holidays.
Can you talk about the new piece the Trocks are debuting in New York this week??This 2012 season of the Trocks at the Joyce we’re premiering the final act of Vakhtang Chabukiani’s ” Laurencia”. Like many story ballets, “Laurencia” is a story of good conquering evil. The end result being a celebration of being liberated and uniting together in love. In my opinion, this piece is perfect for us to exploit and is a showcase of true Russian character and the style the we endeavor to emulate. The difference between this piece and the others being presented is that we’re really delving into the basis of Russian ballets which involve a great deal of gestures to tell the story, a trademark of Chabukiani’s great works.
How do you find the balance between serious dancing and comedy in your performances??Finding the line between serious dancing and comedy in this kind of company is not always easy. While commenting on a piece or expressing its message, even comically, there’s always a fine line. Tipping too far can cheapen and demean your efforts, and in some cases, the integrity of the work you are presenting. Considering your audience and allowing taste to ride at the forefront are some of the first steps in enabling you to capitalize on moments to highlight, minimize, or exaggerate a point.
What has your rehearsal schedule been like to prepare for this upcoming run of shows in New York??Our rehearsal schedule has been no more or less strenuous as any other before such important shows. The company has grown into a cohesive unit and everyone has come together and put 100% focus on stepping up our game. I think we all know and appreciate that New York audiences are amongst the most sophisticated and we’re dedicated to maintaining or increasing the reputation we’ve earned.
Do you think any ballet can be played for laughs??I wouldn’t say any ballet can be played for laughs but there are many that have remained untouched and many recently created that could be put on the list.
What do you think is the funniest “serious” ballet??With so many, I’m hard pressed to name one that I find funniest. But one good example is Swan Lake. I mean, how can the prince mistake the black swan for the white swan to whom he’s pledged eternal love? Was he colorblind?
Do you have any tips for someone looking to carry themselves with dignity and grace this holiday season??My best tips for anyone looking to carry themselves with dignity and grace, not just this season but anytime, is to be a vessel of love and kindness. I think there’s a bit too little of these things in our world today.Next Magazine