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  • Chris ORourke

Dublin Theatre Festival 2018: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Image uncredited


Divine Dancing Divas With Attitude

In keeping with the great tradition of Russian Ballet “Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo” announce a last minute change to the programme. A change of personnel, or a dance perhaps. It all depends on the mood of the dancers. If you’re lucky, they’ll be in a good mood. If you’re really lucky the principal might even perform the dying swan. Even before the curtain is raised, “Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo” is already poking fun at the protocols, conventions, and conceits of the ballet world. But a lot less often than you might think. For while the Trocks sense of fierce, fabulous fun proves irresistible, it often plays second fiddle to some outstanding dance. Even if you don’t know your plié from your pas de deux, “Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo” makes ballet accessible, hilarious, and irresistible for everyone, whether devoted balletomane or attending for the very first time.

An all-male ballet company established in New York in 1974, the Trocks, as they’re affectionately known, have gone from lofts in Off Off Broadway to performing in major international venues, building a growing legion of adoring followers worldwide. Their love of ballet, and ability to laugh at its egos and discipline, is as refreshing and inspiring as their ability to dance it to such exacting standards. Featuring a selection of four dances from their repertoire, “Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo” sees the Trocks reign supreme with their classic rendition of highlights from Swan Lake. Patterns in Space sees them breaking into the world of contemporary dance, though in this instance dance comes a distant second to their playful swipe at the self serious with a post-modern, sound design composed from found instruments and other noises. Esmeralda gets everything back on the classical dance track, yet by now the comedy is starting to recede a little. What was, and continues to be played with, such as synchronisation, technique, en pointe and Demi-pointe, are now being undermined less and less as the quality of dance becomes more rigorous and exacting. Paquita, featuring several stunning solos whose flow and form is often near flawless, again emphasises technique over the comic. But the Trocks can never resist a good laugh when there’s one to be had, and there’s still plenty for them to take a swipe at. With a nod and wink for the Irish audience these divine dancing divas with attitude, who can devastate with a roll of their long lashed eyes, have everyone on their feet.

As we say in Ireland, ‘if we’re making fun of you it means we like you.’ You have to seriously love something to be able to make this much fun of it while showing huge respect for it at the same time. You have to be remarkable and brilliant at what you do to be able to intentionally mess it up as remarkably and brilliantly as the Trocks do. And make it look fun and easy in the process. You may have seen the Trocks on YouTube, or on any number of their TV appearances, but nothing prepares you for just how good they really are, both as a comedic ensemble and a dance troupe. Delivering moments of high quality dance in a discipline renowned for its rigour, while playfully puncturing that discipline with some extraordinarily funny, perfectly timed, comic moments, it’s easy to see why the Trocks are loved worldwide. You'll love them too. A rare opportunity to see one of the world’s legendary dance companies in Dublin, “Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo” is a joy to be had. And the Trocks fit right in. Indeed, you can almost hear Molly Malone playing in the background.

“Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo” presented by Dance Consortium, UK, runs at The Board Gáis Energy Theatre as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2018 until October 10

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