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 Post subject: The Trocks in London - 2006
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:10 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo "Paquita"
photo: Sascha Vaughan


Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Mixed Bill, Peacock Theatre, London, 21 March, 2006

The world is divided into two groups: those that do and those that don't.....love the Trocks, that is. It's not easy predicting who will fall into each category; Darcey Bussell enjoyed them so much she went on-stage to give them flowers, much to their delight, but Deborah Bull couldn't see the joke.

The big boy ballerinas tour the world and have notched up 500 cities since 1974. I remember one Trocks dancer saying that some of his colleagues broke the hearts of admirers every time they left town. And then added the aside: "One of the guys is straight, but he keeps quiet about it."

The Trocks are back in London for the first time in 5 years and the first night audience whooped with joy at the deliberate mistakes, but even louder for every well-executed series of pirouettes. Almost inevitably, they opened with "Swan Lake (Act II)". The repertoire can be scored from 1 to 10 in terms of the pratfall quotient and some pieces have a remarkably low count, but "Swan Lake" scores 11. Even though, there is sufficient precision to make the mistakes funny: lines are usually straight, the corps dance together more than boys usually do, and in Odette's final variation, Raffaela Morera's (Lariska Dumbchenko) only comedy is some over-enthusiastic smiles. For the jokes, the old favourites are still there; after much precise work from the corps they line up on opposite sides of the stage 5 and 3, and one creeps nervously across the stage; as the two large swans advance to the front with developees, one kick goes astray and knocks one of the kneeling swans to the side of the stage; and then at the curtain call, a bouquet is presented to Odette and its all smiles; but then the lights go up again too soon and we see the leads fighting over the flowers.

"Tarentella" with "choregraphy after George Balanchine" (do they need approval?) was played very straight and skillfully by Fernando Medina Gallego and Lionel Droguet. Actually I can remember greater mishaps in conventional performances - one pair of leading principals even managed to bash into one another.

Perrot's "Le Grand Pas de Quatre" from 1845, created for the leading ballerinas of their day, is well-known by name and reputation, but rarely performed. I have seen it twice....both by the Trocks. The main joke here is the rivalry of the dancers and the aging Taglioni's requirement for respect from the others, despite the fact that her technique is past its sell-by date. This performance had a number of differences from my earlier sighting - gone was the head shaking as Taglioni fell off pointe and Edgar Cortes' curtsey to the aging primadonna eventually ends in the splits here.

Paul Ghiselin, a company veteran who is now also their Ballet Master, gave us "The Dying Swan" and, as he has danced this at every Trocks performance I have seen, I suspect that he should be in the "Guinness Book of Records" for even more performances than Pavlova. With a spotlight searching for the dancer, feathers falling everywhere, agonised expressions and gestures and Ghiselin's spindly legs and long nose, this is a hoot, and the curtain call lasts almost as long as the dance.

A suite from "Paquita" had a relatively low pratfall quotient and gave us the chance to admire Robert Carter's strong technique and comic timing as the heroine, especially with a partner who was made to do press-ups on-stage after a failed lift. But when it came to the complicated bits, Carter took them as seriously as is possible.

In the period since they were last here, there are a lot of new faces and I missed a couple: Jai Williams and Carlos Garcia are still listed on the Trocks website, but have not come to the UK. Garcia even impressed one critic who hates the Trocks, and I saw him dance variations so well I could feel tears welling up. He was also part of a superb joke; we were told that the next item was a pas de trois, but only two giant ballerinas came on stage and then separated to show their diminutive chevalier hidden between them.

Some newcomers made an impression - Bernd Burgmaier showed an elegant line as Siegfried and an icy disdain for her enemies as the aging Taglioni. Scott Weber and Chase Johnsey are both very convincing and danced with grace throughout the evening.

If I had one disappointment, at least for the London season, the Trocks have forsaken spoofs of modern dance and their hilarious send-ups of Isadora Duncan, Merce Cunningham and others, which provide variety to the programming. But, this is churlish, the Trocks still deliver with their performances and their jokes and this is one of the few dance events where I regularly laugh out loud. If you haven't tried the Trocks, do give them a test drive.


Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:22 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:36 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo "Swan Lake"
photo: Sascha Vaughan

The Peacock Season:

Performances & Running Time
Tue 21 March - Sat 8 April
Eves at 7.30pm
Sat Mat at 2.30pm

Programme One
Tue 21 – Sat 25 March & Tue 4 – Sat 8 April
Swan Lake – Act II / mystery Pas de Deux /
Pas de Quatre / The Dying Swan / Paquita

Approx 2 hours 15 mins (including two 20 minute intervals)

Programme Two
Tue 28 March – Sat 1 April
Les Sylphides / mystery Pas de Deux /
Go for Barocco / The Dying Swan /
Raymonda’s Wedding

Approx 2 hours (including two 20 minute intervals)

Booking

By Telephone
Call the Ticket Office on 0870 737 7737; Monday to Saturday, 9am - 8.30pm.

Payment can be made by Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Switch/Maestro.
Minicom for patrons with hearing impairments: 020 7863 8015.


Bookings in Person
9am - 8.30pm, Monday - Saturday,
at the Ticket Office in the theatre foyer. Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, Islington, London EC1R 4TN.

Full details and online booking here:

http://www.sadlerswells.com/peacock/200 ... kadero.asp


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:48 am 
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Location: London UK
An appreciative review in today's Independent:

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/reviews/article352830.ece


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:48 am 
LOVE the photos :P Go, Trocks, go! :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:29 am 
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Tutus, tights, tiaras . . . it’s a man’s world
by DEBRA CRAINE for the Times

The teacher this morning is Georgina Parkinson, one of the most respected in New York (and a former Royal Ballet dancer). She makes no concession to the fact that her class is filled with men who would rather be the Swan Queen than the Prince. “I’m in awe to see them on pointe,” she says. “They are disciplined and very strong technically. Their courage and commitment is inspiring. It’s not a campy joke.”

published: March 18, 2006
more...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:33 am 
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Quote:
Les Ballets Trockadero
by DEBRA CRAINE for the Times

But along with the silly names and the slapstick comes a genuine respect for traditional ballet. The Trocks put their hearts and souls into being “ballerinas” and the result is as affecting as it is hilarious.

published: March 23, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:19 am 
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Quote:
Trockadero Ballets, Peacock Theatre, London
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

I love them. I love Ida Nevesayneva as her swan dies of galloping moult. I love this cast of Le Grand Pas de Quatre, riven with smiling jealousies, as I once loved Markova and Danilova and Riabouchinska and Schanne and Fracci and Slavenska. (And Chase Johnsey’s Grahn has a beautifully light jump.) I loved the downfall of Swan Lake Act 2, thanks to the astonishing Larissa Dumbchenko, and the stunned-mullet manner of Pavel Tord.

published: March 22 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:21 am 
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Ladies and gentlemen, the Trocks
by MICHAEL CCHURCH for the Independent

Will the Trocks ever change? "The only way we could change would be if we brought in women, and did serious dramatic works. And we're not planning to do that any time soon."

published: March 21, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:39 am 
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Hairy chests and pointe shoes charm dance lovers
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

The hero and heroine mime endlessly at each other, sticking surprisingly close to traditional gestures, but performing them with frantic exaggeration.

published: March 22, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:43 am 
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Swan Lake/Tarantella/Les Grand Pas De Quatre/Dying Swan/Paquita
By Katie Phillips for The Stage

After seeing the Trocks you will never be able to go to the ROH with a straight face again. The historical ballet traditions we accept and take for granted have been kidnapped and held to ransom by an all male ballet cast in drag and en pointe, reproducing the classics.

These boys were in tutus way before Billy Elliott hit the scene; before Matthew Bourne’s famously male corps in his version of Swan Lake. The company has been delighting audiences with its delightful dance mockery since it was founded in 1974.

click for more


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:11 am 
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Quote:
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

However, this brief illusion of normality is exactly why the Trocks have been the darlings of the ballet world for more than 30 years. When they choose to, this all-male troupe can adroitly pass themselves off as the real thing.

...

Tarantella is one of the Trocks' more academic works, in which their trademark physical comedy is slipped neatly between the cracks of an expert stylistic parody.

published: March 24, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:37 am 
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Tutu much is never enough
by DAVID DOUGILL for the Times

In authentic tradition, the Trocks reserve their finest ballerina, Olga Supphozova, until last. She is Robert Carter, archly disdainful of her mimsy cavalier, but performing the sequences of historic choreography with grand style and accuracy, stunningly secure in multiple pirouettes. The audience whoop as if in a music hall, but what Supphozova is engaged in is serious business.

published: March 26, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:23 am 
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After a drag, give me drag
Classical ballet brings Mavin Khoo back to earth, while men in tutus are as hilarious as ever
by LUKE JENNINGS for the Observer

By giving them such affectionate flesh and letting them run such unabashed riot, the Trocks send us back to the originals with renewed appreciation and fidelity.

published: March 26, 2006
more in the last part of the linked article


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:32 am 
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Location: London UK
After a sellout season of three weeeks at the Peacock Theatre, the Trocks make a triumphant return to London in September for a further two weeks.

Details as follows:

http://www.sadlerswells.com/peacock/2005_2006/trockadero_2.asp


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:58 am 
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Location: Canada
It's been less than five years since the Trocks came to the UK, because I've seen them in Edinburgh either in 2004 or 2005. And have been hoping they will make a return trip....

Kate


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