The place was totally packed and you could tell most of the people there were not "Trock" virgins like me! The party started with an announcement with the heaviest and funniest Russian accent warning us that dancers like Marina Plezegetovstageskaya... wait for it wait for it . . . . .now laugh and Minnie Van Driver will be appearing in various roles and informing us that the reason flash photography is forbidden is because it reminds the dancers of gunfire (since all of them have defected from communist regimes!) . . . well that had audience peeing themselves before the dancing even begun!
Then the house went dark, the music began, the curtain went up and suddenly I was a 7 year old girl seeing the ballet for the 1st time, and, since I am a professional male dancer in my 30's that was quite a leap! 2 1/2 hours of giddy, antsy, couldn't tear my eyes away, inappropriate clapping and hollering and joy was all I knew . . . I was a little embarrassed for myself uh oh!
The first of three acts was Act 2 of Giselle, and when Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis hilariously performed by Minne Van Driver, hit center stage and nailed that first ponche, I knew i was in for a fabulous night of dancing! Then Giselle, the beautiful Lariska Dumbchencko, appeared from her tomb, and she creeped out so perfectly turned out I thought for sure I was watching Julie Kent, well except for the mass of dark curly hair emerging from her corset. Anyway, the dancing and the storytelling was fluid and fun and a perfect way to be introduced to the magnificent all male Trockadero!
Act 2, of the night, was filled with a gorgeous duet from La Bayadere, (I think, the Russian accent that announced it in the beginning was a little too thick for this jersey boy, but stylistically it seemed so), then the swan solo with shedding feathers and all . . . I was cracking up . . . , and then Go for Barocco, a Balanchine inspired number. I can tell you those NYC Ballet girls better watch out, because those trinas ain't got nothing on these fierce fierce divas of the Trock! I am talking about, they gave me popped hips, over extended lines, crazy traveling patterns. They were just flawless with the play acting of the subtle competitiveness, that all you Balanchine girls know what I'm talking about, with the wacked out porte de bras and who's "2nd-besque" is higher . . . . incredible. Those dancers danced at each other and at us and all in perfect harmony. It really was so cool to watch dance, get lost, and forget to watch those divas for technical imperfections like I usually do, because I was just in awe of them!
And not to bore you with my zeal but the Third Act brought it home with a French styled Spanish themed Paquita which is an exploration of "the various possibilities of academic classical dance" and OMG I was LMAO, when I wasn't staring with my jaw on the floor. I mean feat after feat that any ballerina would kill to be able to do, not only did they show off all of the usual trina fiotes and en pointe balances (which were all accomplished with ease, coolness, and absolute perfection) but those girls also started jumping like the men they really are, just soaring on to the stage; they were giving me Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland all in one! And, again the acting, playing just as big a role as the technical brilliance. The cavalier flirting with a chorus girl while trying to partner the incomparable Olga Supphozova..... yep Supphozova... gotta love them! Following a series of masterful solos that were fun, flirty, and totally totally perfect, AAH! I could have died!
And, my last note i swear!!! . . . Just hold on . . . , the final curtain call of New York New York had me and the rest of the audience shouting and giving them the standing "O" they deserved. I have to say after seeing and doing the Nutcracker (UGH!!) (sorry Nutcracker fans but i mean come on...) every year since... well forever, it was refreshing to be inspired by something entirely new and fun!! I know in class on Monday I will be giving a little bit more after seeing those guys up there giving it there all!!!
Anyway so where ever you are, when the infamous "Trocks" hit your town GO SEE THEM!! And, until then please catch them at the Joyce Theatre in New York City in Chelsea until Jan 4th, 2009. Four stars to each of those amazing and unforgettable dancers!!!
Thanks for reading!
iDANZ Critix Corner
Dance Review by Dante Pulieo
Performance: Les Ballet Trokadero De Monte Carlo
Venue: Joyce Theatre, NYC
Date: Friday, December 26, 2008