AT one level Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is simply about blokes in tutus: a company of male dancers prancing about pretending to be women.
But there’s more to the New York-based Trocks than that. From the cod Russian announcement at the start, it’s clear they have a wonderful sense of comedy and humour – and they’re also brilliant ballet dancers.
It was a treat to see real classical ballet for a change.
In a generous evening with five pieces, ranging from the solo Dying Swan to Paquita at the end with eight dancers, perhaps the most enjoyable was the first, Act 2 from Swan Lake.
Complete with the background of Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, the piece was faithfully delivered.
But simultaneously you had dodgy wigs, comically coarse acting and badly-concealed errors. And evidence of behind-scenes cattiness and rivalry was well above the surface.
Dancing as Lariska Dunbchenko as Odette, Raffaele Morra was wickedly funny. And, even given his muscles and outrageously hairy chest, he was never crudely draggish – nobody was.
As an encore the audience was treated to jiving done to a big band version of 42nd Street.
This was a sell-out house and deservedly so.