For its 23/24 Season, Texas Performing Arts outdid itself again for one glorious evening of camp ballet with the troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Founded in NYC 50 years ago, the parodies of classical ballet are performed by men and men only. Similar to Kabuki, where men perform all the female roles and dress the part. Trockadero goes many steps beyond the dress code.
The exaggerated moves are so funny as to make one’s laughter billow throughout the theater. Foibles, accidents, and displays of clumsiness are expertly performed along with a full range of ballet and modern dance repertoire from pirouettes to break dancing, en pointe to jazz. The Trocks, as they are affectionately known, change costume several times throughout the roughly two-hour set into swans for Les Sylphides, with music by Frederic Chopin, then again for Go For Barocco with music by J.S. Bach, and finally for Valpurgeyeva Noch with music by Charles Gounod. There were two intermissions which broke the pace and were unnecessary. One would’ve sufficed, but even then, the comedy was so engaging both breaks quashed the giddiness, but only for fifteen or so minutes in between.
Each of the three sets was directed by Tory Dobrin, Artistic Director. The dancers’ names, humorous plays-on-words included some outrageous queer names such as:
Tatiana Youbetyabootskaya, Holly Dey-Abroad, Varvara Laptopova, and Boris Dumbkopf. When the MC announced these names, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling down my cheeks. So taken was I that two lovely ladies sitting in front of me turned around to share in the joy and laughter. By the second intermission we were fast friends.
The troupe has performed in Texas, and in Austin a few times over the years and although the performance at Bass Concert Hall was only one night, it will be remembered fondly.