Part Goofy, Part Glorious, All Man

Gia Kourlas, New York Times
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The first thing you should know about Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo’s current engagement at the Joyce Theater is that there isn’t a nutcracker in sight. The second is that a stage filled with snow isn’t all there is to the notion of seasonal festiveness.

This superb male group, known as the Trocks, appeared in all of its mallerina glory — that is, man plus ballerina — on Friday in a program of repertory works that included “Les Lac des Cygnes” (“Swan Lake,” Act II), as well as the New York premieres, both staged by Elena Kunikova, of the pas d’action from “Harlequinade” (1997) and “Valpurgeyeva Noch” (or “Walpurgisnacht”) from 2009.

Led by Tory Dobrin, the troupe’s artistic director, the company specializes in twists on the classics, instilled with equal measures of buffoonery and technical aptitude. The dancers play male and female characters; each is assigned two Russified names. In “Harlequinade,” an effervescent glimpse into the world of commedia dell’arte, Lariska Dumbchenko (Raffaele Morra) is Columbine, while R. M. Prince Myshkin (Fernando Medina Gallego) is Harlequin.

Flanked by four couples — the women are Amazons, the men are elfin — Mr. Morra and Mr. Gallego dance with a teasingly sweet verve. The jokes have much to do with strength; Harlequin shakes his head in exhaustion when Columbine looks at him in anticipation of another lift. Instead Columbine hoists Harlequin onto a shoulder.

The rest of the female characters, wearing crisp blue tutus with diamond-patterned bodices by Christopher Anthony Vergara, do the same. What could be a predictable joke is so deftly woven into the choreography — and performed with such cheerfulness — that it doesn’t get old.

“Valpurgeyeva Noch,” inspired by Leonid Lavrovsky’s ballet, depicts a scene from the Gounod opera “Faust.” This Soviet-style bacchanal, embellished with fauns, nymphs and maidens, is wonderful fodder for the Trocks.

As Bacchus, Andrei Verikose (Brock Hayhoe), glossy and aloof, poses constantly: he is a more glorious version of Jon Heder in “Blades of Glory.” Olga Supphozova’s Bacchante (Robert Carter), with a sly air of Southern impatience, must keep a constant eye on Bacchus, who has also caught the attention of the frisky Panette (Long Zou’s Nina Enimenimynimova).

Mikhail Mypansarov’s Pan (Emanuel Abruzzo) leads the fauns in a spirited male section — this ballet was, after all, a Bolshoi staple and celebrates a certain bravura — but the revelation of the production is Mr. Zou’s Panette, a pertinacious flirt whose soaring leaps trail across the stage like beams of light.

Other standouts include Joshua Grant’s clueless Prince Siegfried and Davide Marongiu’s deliriously happy swan in “Swan Lake”; Chase Johnsey’s strong and steady point-work in “Le Corsaire”; and, finally, Paul Ghiselin’s rendition, as Ida Nevasayneva, of the “Dying Swan.”

Every tragic bourrée leaves behind a trail of white feathers; in a last-ditch effort to ward off the inevitable, Mr. Ghiselin’s ancient ballerina grabs handfuls and tries, unsuccessfully, to reapply them to her body. Even though Mr. Ghiselin has performed this part for years, you never want that swan to die.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo performs through Jan. 2 at the Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, at 19th Street, Chelsea; (212) 242-0800,