Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Mary Brennan, Herald Scotland
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Star rating: ****

Even before the all-male Trocks (as they’re now known worldwide) had set a single pointe shoe on-stage, they were causing a feel-good factor of fun among the audience. Folk behind me were already chortling as they scanned the programme and read out the dancers’ names: Colette Adae, Olga Supphozova, Sveltlana Lofatkina (Try it at home).

There’s a further stoking of the larky, cod-Rooshian ambience with various announcements that pay off with “our bellerinass are in vurry,vurry goot mooood” – a sly nod in the direction of the volatile artistic temperament associated with so many legendary Russian dancers. Then it’s into one of the Trocks’ signature spoofs, Swan Lake (Act Two), with its corps-de-ballet all in a flap and serving up the kind of mishaps – collisions, falls, mis-timings – that we suspect hover under the surface of the “real thing”.

But even as the sweetly effete Prince is grabbing hold of his comically protesting Odette, the antics morph into a duet that is as polished, as technically exact and expressive as that “real thing” – with Fernando Medina Gallego a more assured Odette than many female ballerinas I’ve seen.

And so it goes on. The Trocks in their tutus will be guying the laughs out of the classics and then, in the whisk of a fouette, they’ll turn out gold-standard pointe-work that dazzles with verve and panache. Masculine strength combines with knowing femininity. Athletic prowess is allied to airy grace. Neglected gems, such as Pas de Quatre and Paquita, come centre-stage again as the Trocks celebrate the Russian ballet heritage with love and laughter. The loudly cheering Glasgow audience was entertained and enraptured.

It’s Edinburgh’s turn now – the Trocks are at the Festival Theatre tonight and tomorrow.