Unlikely imposters en pointe

Stephanie Glickman, The Herald Sun, Melbourne
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Thirty-five years on from the companies humble beginnings, the public still love The Trocks and their humorous yet reverential take on ballet. The comedians of male ballet, their shtick is familiar to devoted dance and entertains ballet lovers and general audiences who appreciate dance that doesnít take itself too seriously.

Their generous new program runs an extensive gamut – classical Giselle to neo-classical Balanchine and post-modern Merce Cunningham ñ and is stronger and more varied than their last offering in Melbourne.The material works because it is created by people who know and love ballet and are able to laugh at its histrionics and egotism while understanding its choreographic detail and stylistic variations.

The Trocks are not so much making fun as having fun, all the while maintaining fairly solid pointe work and, in many instances, dancing better as the female characters than the male ones. Ballerinas tripping over each other, bursting into hip hop, cat fighting and forgetting steps ñ physical comedy peppers each work.  The shorter dances pack more punch because the gags donít overstay their welcome.

Highlights include Robert Carter (aka Olga Supphozova) towering over his male partner in an Americana-inspired pas se seux, a hilarious parody of John Cageís minimal music recreated with hairspray cans, paper bags and kazoos for Patterns in Space and the tried-and-true crowd-pleaser The Dying Swan, in which Paul Ghiselin (aka Ida Nevasayneva) sputters, rustles and collapses to death in the most melodramatic fashion.