CriticalDance Forum

Les Trocks!
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Author:  wordfox [ Wed Feb 14, 2001 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

Maggie:<P> Ah - the life of a gypsy. The places it DOES take us. <BR> On tours and performances throughout the great South - alas, not Nashville. Quite a while in Mississippi (with two ballet companies and the IBC).<BR> Then on to New Orleans to work in an art gallery on Royal Street. (That is when I told my acquaintances: "at last - I am surrounded by art that doesn't talk back to me.")<P> We did represent one Colorado sculptor - Ed Dwight - but he definitely did NOT do anything with a dance motif.<P> As to Trock - I firmly believe that you must be able to laugh at yourself to survive - this profession or any other. But am not fully convinced that we should quite so publicly celebrate the insanity of what we do.<P> Years ago I was introduced by an influential board member to a businessman from a small town in Mississippi. We were approaching him for a contribution. When it was mentioned that I worked with the ballet company (no intimation of dancing myself), his comment was: "oh, are you one of them fellas that prances around the stage in your pantyhose"? <P> He eventually did come to a performance - and enjoy it. (We chose the programming very carefully for that community). I just wonder - if the greatest public attention to ballet is that of the mass media (sitcom mocking dancers) or comedy presentations like "Trock", does it ultimately serve the art or not? Last I heard, the actual dance audience in the U.S. had declined in the last few decades.

Author:  Basheva [ Wed Feb 14, 2001 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

This all sounds as if it belongs in Issues - oh well - LOL<P>Wordfox, there was an article in the Los Angeles Times not long ago the thrust of which was "is the popularity of ballet cyclical?" It might well be. <P>I have never seen the Trock company but I have been in class with several of them - many years ago when they came to San Diego. Their ballet mistress at the time was in class too. At that time, she told us about half the company had AIDS - so it was not a fun time for them. <P>I often think the ballet is poked fun at - and sometimes we poke healthy fun at ourselves. I am thinking of Carol Burnett in her pointe shoes, or Disney's pink hippos (oh spare me from any more cards!!) in tutus. <P>I also find it amusing that men like to see women in short tight skirts and sweaters - but oh how modesty doth strike at the thought of themselves in tights!! <P>On a slightly more serious note, also a number of years ago - in the 1980's - there was a "artist in residence" whose portfolio it was to visit the various public schools in the San Diego School District and talk to the children about the various art forms - opera, ballet, other dance, symphony, etc. I listened to him one day in absolute horror as he began his "talk" about the ballet with this opening sentence "I think the ballet is the most boring of the art forms".

Author:  Azlan [ Wed Feb 14, 2001 5:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

wordfox, as to a declining dance audience, I was a little taken aback (if not entirely shocked) that the director of a major venue in SF recently very publicly opined that dance will be dead in the Bay Area. So perhaps anything that attracts attention to dance is good, whether or not that thing that attracts is good or bad.<P>This question brings up a whole set of paradoxes (as does the SFB ad campaign thread in "Managing Dance"), as ballet by its inherent nature is an artform, and therefore is not popular entertainment. We can't have it both ways. We can't push the limits of art if we are to cater to popular taste.

Author:  Maggie [ Wed Feb 14, 2001 6:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

Wordfox, the South is an paradox, is it not? It's either quite cultivated, or abysmally backward. I lived in a city that was equally both. I never spent much time in Mississippi. (Prancing in pantyhose!)And New Orleans is it's own kind of place.<P>I don't know Ed Dwight, but then, there's a sculptor under every rock here in the Rocky Mountains. <P>It helps if I think of the Trocks as sort of a "Harlem Globetrotters" of ballet when I try to describe them to non-ballet types. Certainly, not everyone will understand their balletically esoteric form of humor.<P>I'm reminded now of Richard Move's "Homage to Martha" in modern links, and reactions to his show...

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Apr 16, 2001 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

'It's hard to top inspired lunacy of 'The Trocks' 'Swan Lake',' by ROBERT EISELE for the The Kansas City Star who goes for the obvious but entertaining 'Swan Lake' spoof, but does not enjoy the more subtle pieces.<P><BR><A HREF=",fyi/3acc9866.416,.html" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Apr 21, 2001 8:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

<B>Men on their toes have crowd on its feet</B> <P>By Sam Blackwell ~ Southeast Missourian <P>The good citizens of South East Missouri take the Trocks to their hearts<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>A near-capacity audience gave Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo perhaps one of the most tumultuous standing ovations in the history of the Rose Theatre Thursday night. <P>The Trocks, as they are known, deserved every cheer. <P>The spectacle of sumptuous costumes, beautiful sets, music by the likes of Tchaikovsky and the all-male Trocks' trademark, uproarious parodies of classical ballet had the audience swooning from the opener, Act II of "Swan Lake." The familiar dramatic music and wafting fog set the scene for Olga Supphozova as Odette, a sensation with her look-at-me flights about the stage and superb technique.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><A HREF="$rec=25175" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Sep 28, 2001 5:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

The Trocks make their annual visit to London in September 2001 and those of us wth little taste and discernment can once again laugh our socks off and savour the often beautiful dancing of Les 'Girls'.<P>Here is the link to our <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>Trocks in London 2001</B></A> thread.

Author:  Kim Dawn [ Fri Sep 28, 2001 7:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

LOLOLOL!!! i never laughed so hard, as when i read the website. i wish i could see them sometime. thanks for sharing.<BR>kim

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Jan 06, 2002 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

<B>A Different Pointe of View</B> <BR>Lisa Traiger interviews Tory Dobrin AD of The Trocks for The Washington Post<P><BR>MEN IN tutus and toe shoes. The image evokes a laugh, yet when it comes to Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, admiration follows that initial guffaw. These guys dance really well. On pointe. In tutus. And in tiaras, if necessary. <P>Founded on a lark 28 years ago in New York by a bunch of guys who loved -- truly loved -- ballet, the Trocks, as they're fondly known, don't just ape arabesques and pirouettes. The 13 men, all classically trained to dance both male and female roles, perform a repertory that includes the warhorses -- "Swan Lake (Act II)," "Paquita," the pas de deux from "Don Quixote" -- and two dozen more strictly highbrow works from choreographers such as Ivanov, Petipa and Massine. And they dance gloriously en travesty. <P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR>

Author:  trina [ Mon Jan 07, 2002 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

I have a friend who danced a couple of years ago with Les Trocks. Anyway, their most fervent audiences were to be found, believe it or not, in Japan. They would have groupies calling them up in their hotel room--female groupies that is. Ahem! Anwyay!<BR>I think it's all in good fun! There's room for everyone in the ballet world. I dont' know if there's "crossover" between this audience and a regular ballet audience. I dont' know if I personally would enjoy the gags...I feel like I've seen them all (or heard them) me it's kinda sterotypical and the "drag" thing has been "done to death" at least in my own life experience. But I WOULD love to see the guy who does the Martha Graham thing....Richard Move I think is his name.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jan 08, 2002 12:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

There are a variety of reasons to go and see the Trocks trina:<P>- the jokes, which continue to make me laugh, as the different pieces do create much variety.<BR>- the quality of the dancing is good and in some cases very good. They perform the work better than most ballerinas. Carlos Garcia is a seriously good dancer.<BR>- the chance to see rarely performed works, such as Les Vivandieres, Isadora Duncan, Paquita and the Pas de Quatre. The modern dance pastiches are fun, but in the case of Merce, they actually have permission to perform one of his works and it was set on them by a rep. from the Company. <P>It's tricky to estimate the cross-over ratio in the audience, but most of the ballet fans I know have been to see them at least once. Darcey Bussell loves them, Deborah Bull doesn't and this pattern is repeated with my own friends. For me thay will continue to be a once or twice a year treat. And yes, Japan is their biggest market, but it makes sense as there are lots of cross-dressing theatre forms in Japan from Kabuki with all the roles performed by men, to musicals where all the roles are performed by girls. <P>Richard Move is well worth seeing for his impersonation and the strong dancing of the girls in his Company. In addition there are the straight dance pieces that he includes in all his programmes. His recent London shows included Mark Morris, Principal dancers from the Royal Ballet and a work by Jane Dudley by top UK performer Sheron Wrey.

Author:  trina [ Tue Jan 08, 2002 8:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

Thanks Stuart; I didn't know they did modern spoofs.

Author:  Malcolm Tay [ Sun Jan 13, 2002 12:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

Sigh, I'd love to see the Trocks too, like their spoofs of "Les Sylphides", "Concerto Barocco" and "Deaths and Entrances" - if they're still performed, that is Image<P>And yes, Japan is their biggest market, but it makes sense as there are lots of cross-dressing theatre forms in Japan from Kabuki with all the roles performed by men, to musicals where all the roles are performed by girls. <P>Couldn't agree more, Stuart. The all-female musicals you mentioned are performed by the Takarazuka Revue, which is staffed by graduates of its school. Selection is strict, the training even more so. (There is a film based on the women of Takarazuka called "Dream Girls".) <P>The women who perform the male roles are, for some reason, especially popular among Japanese women. It's not uncommon to see these housewives stake their idols out to offer them loads of gifts - one of them said it's not something they'll do for a man. By 25, however, the Takarazuka women are expected to retire, as Japanese women are supposed to get married by then. <P>You can tell this is a common trend in Japan when comics on male-male love/sex are mainly targeted at college-going women (though it's likely that these comics also appeal to a tiny percentage of gay men).<p>[This message has been edited by Malcolm Tay (edited January 13, 2002).]

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Feb 03, 2002 12:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

<B>Trocks bring ballet with a twist to Meany</B><BR>By Moira Macdonald for The Seattle Times <P><BR>"All of our ballerinas," intoned the Russian-accented announcer, coming to the end of a hilariously complicated pre-curtain list of program changes, "are in very, very good moods this evening." <P>This can mean only one thing: The Trocks are back in town. <P>The boisterous opening-night crowd at Meany Theater was also in a very, very good mood as it cheered, giggled and roared approval for the all-male ballet parodists known as Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.<P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>

Author:  Marie [ Sun Feb 10, 2002 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Les Trocks!

GRANT BUTLER - The Oregonian, 01/27/02:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Primo ballerino</B><P>With all the tripping and slipping before the footlights, you wonder if the backstage Trocks, as they're called in shorthand, are really as uproarious as all that. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><B>more...</B><P>

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