Facts You Didn’t Know About the Drag Ballet Troupe Les Trocks
Formal dance meets farce when Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo perform.
Photograph courtesy of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
If grown men in tulle and size-12 pointe shows sounds like the perfect way to spend a Friday or Saturday night, you probably already know that the all-male, major dance phenomenon Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is performing in Calgary for just two nights this weekend.
While you might be equipped with the fact that, yes, men really can dance en pointe as swans and water sprites, there’s lots about the group you are probably unaware of. We highlight some impressive (and entertaining) facts about this group just in time for their performance.
The background of the ballet troupe
“Les Trocks” first performed in 1974 in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. Despite being a new concept, the show was completely sold out.
Since starting, the Trocks have performed in more than 500 cities in 33 countries around the world.
The Trocks are loved in Japan. They have performed in 87 Japanese cities since 1974. To compare, the group has performed in 16 Canadian cities.
The Trocks have regular performances in 49 states. The group hasn’t performed in South Dakota.
Despite having different dancers and different movements, the Trocks’ performance is the exact same concept as it was over 40 years ago.
The current troupe
There are 18 professionally trained dancers in the current troupe.
There are 10 American dancers and four are from Italy.
There are also dancers from South Africa, Spain, Cuba and Hungary.
Each performer has a female and male persona, and they’ve selected their own names for their dancer personas. (And the names are great: Chase Johnsey’s female character is named Yakatarina Verbosovich.)
All dancers perform en travesti, performing both male and female parts. It is a parody of traditional ballet that still highlights the incredible technical skill of the dancers.
The Trocks perform numbers from a variety of popular ballets, including Don Quixote, Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Giselle.
Even someone who has never been to the ballet will enjoy the art when it’s performed like this. Tory Dobrin, the current artistic director, explained that the Trocks are a great introduction to ballet. The audience and the performers alike have a really good time; the audience is sure to be in stitches laughing at the dancers’ exaggerated accidents.
As well as stage performances, the Trocks appear in benefits for international AIDS organizations.
The performance runs on Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. albertaballet.com.