Les Ballets Trockadero review: Even the most po-faced ballet fans will giggle

Dublin Theatre Festival: The all-male ballet troupe blend dance and physical comedy

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: classical poise becomes pantomime as they bring Swan Lake to life


Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
★ ★ ★
In the opening act of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo the troupe dance with their faces as much as their feet. As they bring to life act two of Swan Lake classical poise becomes pantomime. That is not to say the all-male Trocks can't dance – they can pirouette as well as any prima ballerina – but they never miss an opportunity to remind the rapt audience that it actually hurts to hold an arabesque, or to trip another dancer up for showing off. Patterns in Space, "a postmodern dance movement essay", allows them to parody the pleasures of contemporary dance, too, although it is less clear here which aspects of the barely-there choreography – inspired by Merce Cunningham – are being lampooned. But the live musical accompaniment of gurgling water and exploding paper bags, after John Cage, is funny enough without any fancy steps. The pas de six from Esmerelda and grand pas de trois from Paquita follow. Two unnecessary 20-minute intervals stretch 90 minutes of dancing into a fuller evening's entertainment, but the Trocks will have even the most po-faced balletomanes giggling at their blend of dance and physical comedy.

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