Tutus with a twist: Les Ballets Trockadero

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Who would have thought men in tutus could put on such a sensational show? With slapstick humour, impressive technique, and incomparable parodies, this all-male ballet troupe provided a hilarious, extremely entertaining show that had the audience in fits of laughter the whole way through. With character names like Tatiana Youbetyabootskaya and Ida Nevasayneva in the program, many were laughing even before the curtain went up.

For anyone who’s ever done ballet or knows about the classics, this show involves a deeper level of comedy. I died laughing while watching the cygnets of Swan Lake bumble across the stage, and thinking of my own experiences dancing Swan Lake in my ballet school show. The revised choreography mocked the original perfectly, and the separate scene of the slowly dying swan was equally brilliant as, limb by limb, she dropped to the stage in a feathery heap. This signature parody was my favourite act.

The show also included some impressive pas de deux pieces. Of course, the composure of these scenes was broken when the dancer in the tutu suddenly fell or tried to tell the prince that it’s alright, he can dance without his help.

Go for Barocco was a standout, a contemporary ballet piece that featured the dancers in simple black leotards and skirts. It was reminiscent of so many ballet school performances I’ve seen and been a part of, and the hilarity factor was multiplied as they performed simple, repetitive choreography with the utmost concentration.

The final scene was Paquita, a Spanish ballet about a girl who has been abducted by gypsies. In terms of costumes, this was the most stunning act, with bright, colourful tutus. One of the best unexpected moments of the show was when Paquita screamed as the prince came on stage behind her.

Many of the dancers had the same grace and technique as their female counterparts, and they all performed spectacularly. I think it helps to have an understanding of the classical ballets when watching this show, but if not, it will still be a Trockin’ good time.

Les Ballets Trockadero performed on Janaury 24 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. For more information, visit trockadero.org.