Les Ballets Trockadero
Touring the UK till 27 02 13
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, Birmingham Hippodrome, 01 02 13
Unique, talented, uniquely talented. Laugh out loud.
Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo – The Trocks as they are popularly known – have found a magic formula, and in that lies their enduring popularity. Excellent dancing; hilarious ballet. Actually, it’s not always hilarious – sometimes its just really good dance.
This all-male company packs their programme from the knockabout (of, say, Les Sylphides) to showcases of grace and strength. The Trocks famously pastiche, satirise even, the nonsense of a museum approach to classical ballet. Stock comedy is there in ladles – bitchy prima ballerinas and dim-witted dancers, but the programme is underpinned with a sharp and witty intelligence.
Les Sylphides gets the party off to a cracking start. The underpinning humour derives from the contrast of Chopin’s dreamy music and big men dressed in 19th Century fairy costumes, replete with tiny wings. Extending the 19th Century dance conventions results in an hilarious set of dances. Particularly delightful is the Romantic Lead, who, noting the atmosphere of Romanticism, looks permanently into the far distance . . . or perhaps he and his dance partner are in the middle of a spat. How these big chaps in the corps dance so well on their points beggars belief.
The Black Swan Pas de Deux shows the magical strength of the company. Here a little Prince is partnered with a tall Swan. So it’s funny. And he dances stunningly, great strength, grace and charm – leaps and turns his speciality. But we take a group gasp as we see this tall swan dance just as strongly, gracefully and charmingly.
Walpurghis Night closes the programme. Delightfully wafting ladies and some energetically danced fauns, who, while they may not be exactly evil, certainly give the impression of being very naughty.
The atmosphere in the Hippodrome was that of a huge family party. At most family parties there’s that uncle who insists on doing his tedious party piece (Ayckbourn knows this well.) Not at the Trocks’ party. Here it’s your favourite Aunt . . . and we await her performance with eager anticipation. Ida Nevasayneva doesn’t disappoint; her swan is superbly portrayed, and heartrendingly pitiful as she tries to replace the moulting feathers.
The Trocks is the best dance party in town. I hope I get an invitation for their next one, I can’t wait.