"The Trocks" as they are affectionately known have taken parody to whole new levels in their loving send up of all things ballet. An all male troupe whose witty drag queen antics amongst the tutu'd ranks blends in seemlessly with what is also undeniably top class dancing.
The Trocks are no stranger to the Royal Concert Hall and have a loyal following but this tour is a little different, their focus has eased back on the joke laden parody a little to give more time to be impressed by their impressive dancing skill, albeit with plenty of fun.
The format is a series of famous scenes from ballet shows, softening us up with some Tchaikovsky magic from a gag riddled ballet classic Swan Lake Act II, before sneaking in a flock of home grown sketches and less well known numbers below the radar once the laughter has subsided a little. It works well, as the audience flits between nodding appreciation of skill and ear-to-ear mirth, easing in more appreciation of their fine form and technical brilliance of the soloists as the humour gets a little more subtle.
In between the collisions, delinquent swans, fumbles and flirting dancers there were some stand out moments. Olga Supphozova (Robert Carter) as the tottering lady-losing-it dying swan, an excellent Nina Immobilashvili (Albreto Pretto) as the Queen of Swans mixing moving moments with man mushing in her encounters with crossbow toting Siegfried (Duane Gosa) and hapless Benno (Robert Vega). Stand out technical point work from Nina Enimenimynimova (Long Zou) in an impressive scene from Paquita where she almost takes off with her high speed pirouetting, only to stagger dizzily off into the wings. Not to mention a corps du ballet that could out jump any regular rival, thanks to their rippling male muscles.
What really gets you is the fact that the standard is so high, knowing winks and humour aside, the dancers really can pull off the demanding technical standards of the roles they are sending up, while laying down will timed mime and a dash of slapstick at the same time. Genuinely impressive while also really funny.
The show will delight ballet regulars and tutu newbies alike. Heartily recommended.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo plays at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall on 23 & 24 October 2018.