Men in tights are a common sight at the ballet, but when Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo takes the stage you’re liable to see men in tights and men in tutus, too.
The all-male ballet company, founded in 1974 and lauded by critics and fans alike, returns to Miami Beach’s Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater next week for another unique interpretation of classics from the ballet repertoire.
Artistic Director Tory Dobrin, a 30-year veteran, says the company got its start in the years following the Stonewall riots when the gay community enjoyed a “golden age” of public expression, mocking the traditional gender stereotypes of middle America.
But, he also points out, while audiences were always in on the “joke,” the company took on the great ballets and presented parodies, but was never just a drag act.
“The company has been all over the world, but it’s not so much a gay show because we really don’t address gay issues,” Dobrin explains. “But there’s still a gay sensibility in the show, exposing audiences to gay culture in a way.”
The company has come a long way from its earliest years when the Trocks performed in New York City loft spaces far from the lights of Broadway or Lincoln Center.
In fact, Dobrin says the biggest change since the company’s founding is its audiences: “The only difference is that society is different, and so Trockadero is different now, too.”
Infamous theater critic Clive Barnes once called the dancers “faggots making fools of themselves in public.
The “Trocks,” as they are affectionately known are now attracting young dancers right out of the leading dance academies, he says, “a career choice,” noting the international critical acclaim for the company’s dance technique and choreography, as well as a global performance schedule that takes young dancers around the world.
For the Miami Beach performance, the Trocks will dance Act II of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” the company’s most famous and popular dance, as well as a parody on contemporary choreographer Merce Cunningham, an 1840s “Pas de Quatre,” and “Raymonda’s Wedding,” set to music by Russian composer Glazunov.
A company that keeps many major works in repertoire, the Trocks also occasionally perform works rarely seen outside of Russia, including ballets only performed by the Bolshoi Ballet, and even then, was last seen more than 20 years ago.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo will present one performance only, Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. at The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theatre, 1700 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach. Tickets are $25 - $75 at ConcertAssociation.org or by calling (305) 532-9898. For more information about the Trocks, go to Trockadero.org.