Remember The Man Show and how it ended with slow-motion footage of girls on trampolines? Yeah well, dudes in toe shoes, brother. That’s right. Dudes…..in toe shoes. (Also: GIVEAWAY ALERT!)
I guarantee you that whatever you’re doing this week doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as what I’m doing, which is taking a friend of mine to dinner and the ballet. And what I’m doing isn’t nearly as exciting as what I really wanted to do, which was going to be taking the same friend to dinner and the ballet, but neglecting to warn her that these graceful ballerinas will sport chest hair and Adam’s apples in addition to their tutus and toe shoes. My enthusiasm for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (a.k.a. “the Trocks”) outstripped my enthusiasm for childish pranks, and before I could stop myself, I told my friend all about how hilarious yet skillfully impressive this ballet company in drag (or “en travisti,” I should say) is supposed to be. Five woefully late seconds later, I realized how much fun it would have been to mumble something vague about “ballet tickets on me” and then watch her face as the first blithe fellow en pointe pirouetted across the stage.
I doubt she’ll suffer any lack of pleasant surprise, though. If their reputation is any indication, the Trocks expertly parody while paying adoring homage to the craft. Effectively, they may even surpass more serious colleagues, as this particular kind of parody requires that they learn the techniques of both men and women in one of the most physically demanding type of dance styles in history — and the only one I can think of that contorts the foot into a completely unnatural and painful position, in which it bears the entirety of your weight as you attempt to look graceful.
The scar tissue around my fifth grade emotional wounds is seriously thick, as you can see, but the memory of how difficult ballet is, even in its earliest stages, has left me with pangs of envious admiration. Especially when the toned and talented paragon of grace who succeeds where I failed* is a giant dude. It’s OK though, the Trocks are reputed to capitalize upon the strange and mystical (and painful!) aura surrounding Russian ballet and exaggerate those elements that are the most intimidating in order to make us laugh. Each “ballerina” in the company has her own humorous bio (so be sure to come early enough to read the program carefully), and reviews of the Trocks indicate that the individual characteristics of each diva is explored onstage.
So if you’re game for a little high art mixed with a lot of comedy, I’ll see you at the Modlin Center tonight ( Januar 19) or tomorrow night (January 20) at 7:30pm. Check back tomorrow morning for an update after I see the show! Tickets are $36 for adults, $18 for children, and $8 for UR students.
*Don’t feel sorry for Little Susan. I went on to discover tap and jazz, styles of dance that brought with them years of costumes designed to heartily amuse my friends when I bring out pictures as an adult. Clearly, my goal at a young age was to spread cheer to the masses, and though I can sense the mockery in their voices, I sleep easily at night knowing that (1) I have fulfilled my dream and (2) my friends are all horrible people.
But wait! RVANews has a pair of tickets to the January 20 performance of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo for one lucky winner! Contest closes at 3pm TODAY! Enter to win here.