Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
St James Theatre, Wellington, October 30
One of the reasons people go to the theatre is to laugh and be glad. The ecstatic audience at Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo certainly did that. There was such a feeling of wellbeing that the theatre was almost airborne.
Formed in 1974 to parody ballet and the mannerisms of Russian ballet dancers from the early 20th century, the company consists of male dancers trained in classical ballet. They dance all the roles.
The audience is therefore convulsed with laughter one minute and gasping in admiration at the dancers' technical prowess the next.
Le Lac des Cygnes is completely silly with ''choreography after Lev Ivanov''. Indeed. He would be turning in his grave - with laughter. Olga Supphozova (Robert Carter) was an impressive Odette, Mischa Youloustski (Trystan Merrick) a most elegant Siegfried - aided and abetted by a winsome Benno (Raffaele Morra).
Patterns in Space is a sly take-off of Merce Cunningham's post-modernist choreography and John Cage's music. Two musicians on stage (Lariska Dumbchenko and Yuri Smirnov) steal the show, blowing up paper bags, using egg beaters and clumping away with castanets.
Go for Barocco (choreography - Peter Anastos; music - J S Bach), it was nudge-nudge, wink-winked at Balanchine's starkly modern works and was danced with great style and verve by all.
Paquita (choreography after Petipa; music after Minkus). This old warhorse of a ballet, one of the most boring in the classical repertoire, was given a new lease on life in this lushly costumed (Mike Gonzales) and flamboyantly danced version.
All the Variations were delivered with masterly finesse and aplomb. The Trocks rock!
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