Skip to content

Go for Barocco – Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

October 13, 2009

The stage is filled with ballerinas en pointe, decked in short black dresses and with a delicate flower in their hair. They are beautiful, elegant and some of most built ballerinas I have ever seen. This is, of course, because Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is most notable for being an all male ballet company and for mocking the formalities of ballet. I have never seen the original dance, Concerto Barocco, choreographed by Balanchine, but a description of the work can be found on the NYCB website:

Credit: Paul Kolnik

Credit: Paul Kolnik

Balanchine said of this work: “If the dance designer sees in the development of classical dancing a counterpart in the development of music and has studied them both, he will derive continual inspiration from great scores.” In the first movement of the concerto, the two ballerinas personify the violins, while a corps of eight women accompany them. In the second movement, a largo, the male dancer joins the leading woman in a pas de deux. In the concluding allegro section, the entire ensemble expresses the syncopation and rhythmic vitality of Bach’s music.

Balanchine clearly takes his dance quite seriously and expressly adhears to classical ballet in his piece. The Trockadero company also explains their peice, Go for Barocco, choreographed by Peter Anastos, on their website:

Go for Barocco - Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Stylistic heir to Balanchine’s “Middle-Blue-Verging-On-Black-and-White Period,” this ballet has become a primer in identifying stark coolness and choreosymphonic delineation in the new (neo) neo-new classic dance. It has been called a wristwatch for Balanchine clock time.

The most important aspect, and the reason for the company’s success is that the humor does not come expressly from men dressed and dancing as women. There is an element of drag queen humor with all the gaudy make-up and the essence of being vulgar yet pristine, but what makes the audience laugh is how the dancers take the seriousness of deified ballets and poke fun at the structures that make ballet both beautiful and utterly haughty.

Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The ballet world is the oldest and most rigid of all popular dance, in both technique and in gender roles. Although there is beauty in celebrating the differences between the sexes, ballet has held to these roles so rigidly that they transcend into every day culture. Even today in a society that may do its best to create equality and similarity between the roles men and women should take, once entering a ballet class, men have their role and woman the other. What the Trockadero company shows is that this doesn’t have to be true. With perfect technique, these men are incredible to watch. Ballet is still evolving and the roles men and women play within it have slowly been pushed beyond what they were. The company is just as much a sign of changing attitudes as they are the reason these changes are occurring. We can credit the ‘TROCKS’ for pushing this change along.

What was your favorite part of this dance?

Have you seen the original Concerto Barocco?

Have you seen any similar performances that mock classical dance?

Have you ever dressed in drag?

Fall for Dance Festival, September 26th, 2009
New York City Center
New York City, New York

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 14, 2009 10:51 pm

    Yes to that last question. Once as Hera, I think, and once as Dolly Levi.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: