Review: The Trocks

Elizabeth Govaerts, Lincoln Journal Star
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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, now in its 41st season, brought its witty repartee (and repertoire) of serious ballet classics to a welcoming Lied Center audience Friday evening. The company’s ballerinas possess all of the skill and evident training required to dance the quintessential ballet heroines: the liquid arms, expressive bodies, delicate ballon and killer extension. But here’s the kicker (no pun intended): They’re all men.

The Trocks have garnered an international cult following with their comic presentation of classical dance. The company’s claim to fame is the fact that men dance all of the classic female ballet roles, and they dance them en pointe. The fabulous costumes, wigs and make-up complete the delightful trompe l’oeil.

Friday’s program opened with Swan Lake. The Trock’s version lovingly skewered the original with all of its histrionic drama and incessant pantomime. Odette was appropriately tortured and Siegfried appropriately dreamy. The swans were hilariously menacing and bird-like, and the Cygnets’ Pas de Quatre was full of tongue-in-cheek choreographic witticisms. Later in the evening, a molting dying swan stole the show with her slow, painful, protracted death and her gleeful, endless curtain calls.

The jokes wouldn’t fly if the dancers weren’t so technically skilled. In fact, often the dancing is so good and the illusion so complete that one often forgets it is comedy — until you notice the big ballerina in the back is eating a banana.

The choreography is solid throughout. The style and idioms of the famous ballets are perfectly captured, and cleverly (and lovingly) lampooned. The company kept the audience laughing and captivated for all of the two-hour performance.

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