Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo UK tour 2013
All-make company bridging gap between farce and classical ballet
While there’s no disputing how captivating Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo can be, sometimes it’s equally fascinating to watch how the audience reacts to them.
A regular fixture on the dance touring circuit since their formation in 1974, the Trocks (as they’re known) offer a guaranteed good night out at the theatre. Laughs come thick and fast during the opening act, but what’s interesting is how the reaction changes as time goes on.
Slowly, the on-stage trips, grimaces and gags become further apart, until all you’re left with is a stunning display of classical ballet. Meanwhile, the belly laughs in the crowd are gradually replaced by expressions of awe.
‘The audience is coming into the auditorium to laugh,’ says artistic director, Tory Dobrin, ‘but you can’t do the same kind of laughing all evening, because it becomes tedious. So the first act is our campiest and we always open with something the audience will be really familiar with. And then we try to offer something different as you go along.’
The company has a stash of ‘stock jokes’, as Dobrin calls them, that are interchangeable between works. But much of the fun is derived from the performers themselves. ‘All of the dancers have been doing comedy for a long time,’ says Dobrin, ‘and so they bring their own humour to the piece.’
Back in Edinburgh as part of a UK tour, this time the programme will feature Les Sylphides, Pas de Deux, La Vivandière and Walpurgis Night. In keeping with the Trocks show trajectory, from wit to wow, the show will close with a piece performed exactly as the choreographer intended.
Walpurgis Night is already so kitschy, that when we tried to add stuff in, it was too much,’ says Dobrin. ‘So I said it’s a beautiful dance, let’s just do it straight -- so that’s our closer.’
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Fri 22 & Sat 23 Feb