Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo was founded in 1974 in the wake of the Stonewall Uprising. Early performances were held on the makeshift stage of the NYC LGBTQ rights organization known as the West Side Discussion Group, an offshoot of the groundbreaking Mattachine Society, one of the first LGBTQ rights groups in the US. This historic backdrop has always underscored the Trocks’ commitment to providing a stage for dancers often underrepresented in classical ballet due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, size, social class, race and ethnicity.

In the 50 years since its inception, the company has continued its mission of performing polished parodies of classical ballets ‘en pointe’ and ‘en travesti’, surprising and delighting audiences by boldly defying classical ballet’s conventional gender classification.  While being slyly subversive, the Trock’ global visibility has helped move drag from counterculture to its current place in the mainstream.

As ambassadors of LGBTQ culture and acceptance, the Trocks remain committed to supporting, mentoring, and inspiring the next generation of LGBTQ performers and arts appreciators; supporting LGBTQ elderly and mentoring LGBTQ youth; and serving as an integral link to the history, traditions, and future of LGBTQ performance.  The company’s education and engagement programs allow the Company to extend the work it does on stage and engage communities in reimagining their expectations of ballet performance and its intersection with gender roles and identities.

While we recognize that there is still much to be done to achieve full diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the ballet world, within our own company, and in the world at large, we strive to build and deepen this work both on and offstage. The board, staff, and company of Les Ballets Trockadero proudly stand together with those who embrace a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity and accessibility in all its forms.

One of the most joyous aspects of seeing the Trocks on stage is the degree to which the individuality and diversity of company members informs their performances.

Indeed, they take immense pride in their approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, and this ethos is inseparable from their artistic practice. In many ways this sets them apart from mainstream ballet companies that still cling to outdated, exclusionary aesthetic requirements and a rigid, unquestioning approach to the gender binary.

These are important battles that are still being fought both within the dance world and in the world at large, and although the tide does seem to be changing for the better, the Trocks occupy a unique space in this discourse as veteran dancers and pioneers of diversity and acceptance.

They are not just an exceptionally skilled ballet troupe; they are radicals and proud of it.