Thursday, February 23, 2017

Trockadero brings the laughs to classical ballet

For most people, ballet often evokes images of graceful women in large tutus flitting across a stage to tragically beautiful music.

But Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is putting that image on its head. The dance company, colloquially known as Trockadero or Trock, is made up entirely of men. And in an attempt to not take itself too seriously, the troupe performs many of the classic ballets everyone knows and loves, but does so as a parody.

The Trockadero is bringing its brand of ballet fun to Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois Springfield on Sunday.

The performance will include classical pieces that everyone knows, like Swan Lake and Don Quixote. There will also be another surprise element that will be announced the night of the performance.

Though nowadays, the Trockadero dance company is made up of very serious dancers, the origins of the troupe go back to the '70s with a group of amateurs who just loved dance. It used to be a group of men who loved dance and loved to get in drag, and they put on performances in a basement for a late night show. But the performances started to grow in popularity, so the men who were a part of it started taking on more traditional aspects of ballet, like hiring ballet mistresses and trainers.

"It started off as an amateur thing back in the '70s, but it's evolved so much that it's a very refined dance performance," said company dancer Alberto Pretto.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feburary 22, 2017.

Read the entire article online.