Life & Culture

Dance Review: Les Trocks 'There's plenty to laugh at'

A tongue-in-cheek version of ballet classics is lots of fun, says Joy Sable


Les Trocks
Peacock Theatre


What’s not to love about a ballet troupe that includes Helen Highwaters, Olga Supphozova and Minnie van Driver amongst its dancers? Not to mention the Legupski brothers or Jacques d’Aniels. Yes, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, more affectionately known as Les Trocks, is back, with a UK tour which began at London’s Peacock Theatre this week.

The all-male drag company sends up classical ballet in hilarious fashion, parodying the genre’s most revered pieces while displaying their not inconsiderable talents as dancers.  If you thought that pointe shoes do not come in large sizes, think again. These dancers can bourree, fouette and pirouette just like any woman, with some extra muscle thrown in for good measure.

Swan Lake Act II is a joy and the choreography sticks closely to more traditional productions. This time around the famous mime scene is played for laughs, the Dance of the Little Swans is great fun and Von Rothbart (Pepe Dufka – the ‘uninvited’ guest artist) is a hoot. Yet Odette’s solo is performed with true skill and received massive applause on the opening night. 

Other highlights included the Act I pas de trois from Swan Lake with two enormous ‘ballerinas’ paired with the miniscule Timor Legupski, and the famous Dying Swan solo, in which Supphozova not only had to deal with the technical demands of the piece, but also a tutu which rapidly shed its feathers all over the stage.

You will get the most out of a visit to see Les Trocks if you are a ballet fan already and recognise what they are poking fun of – there are lots of ballet ‘in’ jokes for true afficianados of the art – but there is still plenty to laugh at even if you do not know much about ballet. The sight of 16 men in heavy make-up, satin pointe shoes and oversized tutus is not to be missed.

The Trocks will be dancing at 12 different venues across the UK during the next few weeks.  They are well worth seeing…and you will never look at Swan Lake again in the same light.

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