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New Trocks send-up of "The Cage"Acocella, New Yorker, 12/18


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#1 bart

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 12:57 PM

In the latest New Yorker, Joan Acocella has a brief "Critics Notebook" piece on a new version of "The Cage" by Robert LaFosse. It's called "La Cage." Here's the Link: http://www.newyorker...OAT_recordings3

“What I tried to do,” he says, “was show off the company’s technique. In the seventies, they could barely get up on pointe. Now they do triple fouettés.” He warns, though, that what we see may not be precisely what he created in the studio: “Sometimes the Trocks like to walk across the stage eating a chicken bone, and there’s nothing I can do about that.”

I love Acocella's statement that "There is much about ballet that is extreme and improbably, and locating the comedy in that is the specialty of the Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo ..." "The Cage" is a rather esoteric subject, and I don't suppose many in the Trocks' audience will have heard of it, let alone seen it. But it's one of those classic situations that you don't HAVE to have seen. You've seen all the pop culture versions of the plot (in bad black-and-white sci fi films, etc.) So the experience may be rather like "getting" The Simpsons' take on Pagliacci without even knowing there is really such an opera.

#2 sz

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 03:12 PM

Oh! I love the Trocks! Can't wait to see them again and in their newest piece, La Cage.

#3 Paul Parish

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 09:10 AM

Stage direction --Eat a chicken bone.
Line: "What a DUMP!"

Elizabeth Taylor did this in "WHo's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," but it was already a piece of drag business: if I've got my camp history right, it was Bette Davis who did it in the first place.

#4 Farrell Fan

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:10 AM

My impression is that the audience for the Trocks is far more knowledgeable than the typical ballet audience. And as Acocella points out, Robbins's masterpiece of misogyny "has been ripe for parody since its premiere." In fact, it's way overdue.

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:15 AM

Stage direction --Eat a chicken bone.
Line: "What a DUMP!"

Elizabeth Taylor did this in "WHo's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," but it was already a piece of drag business: if I've got my camp history right, it was Bette Davis who did it in the first place.


Beyond the Forest (1949).

#6 liebs

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 12:02 PM

Which, I think, also has the immortal line - "I'd like to kiss you but I just washed my hair."

#7 richard53dog

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 03:36 PM

Which, I think, also has the immortal line - "I'd like to kiss you but I just washed my hair."


This is delivered with a very strong Southern accent. "Ahh jus washed mah hehr"


I think this was the last movie Davis made under her longterm Warner Bros contract.

From then on she mostly freelanced.

Sorry if this went a bit :off topic:

#8 bart

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 03:41 PM

My impression is that the audience for the Trocks is far more knowledgeable than the typical ballet audience.

This is certainly true of New York City, and I imagine applies to other world dance capitals, and this is part of what makes the audience reaction to their performances so delightful. (Nothing so pleasurable as sharing the experience of "getting it" in a packed theater.) I wonder, however, how much this is trkue of some of the less ballet-sophisticated towns their touring schedule brings them to.

#9 sz

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 11:39 PM

I just returned from a night out with friends including seeing Program A of the Trocks....

The last time I saw them was about three years ago, I think.....

First with the good news...
Trutti Gasparinetti's staging and "Trocking" of the Swan Lake (Act 2) choreography is as brilliant as ever with Olga Supphozova as Odette and Ashley Romanoff-Titwillow as Siegfried. One big WOW!!!

Not only is Titwillow a very tall (6'4"?), handsomely long-legged creature, but he is a very good dancer. I'd swear he was from the Royal Danish! Blonde, with an angelic, sweet face, and youthfully muscular body, he can't be over 22 years old!!! His leaps were beautiful, his tours en l'air as well, and he had no problems whatsoever partnering a full-sized, big-boned woman/man Swan Queen.

Supphozova is most definitely Queen of the Trocks in my view with her amazing ability to pull off excellent technique with the intense passion of a great ballerina, then the audience will unexpectedly see her biggest trash-ballerina gag with huge winks and a smile that explodes all over her face enjoying herself in all indulgence. Supphozova can be so serious then so over the top, you applaud and cheer with laughter and tears all at the same time. Then suddenly she'll turn on her butchest and bitchiest of "you wanna mess with me?!" gang leader (done tongue in cheek of course)!!! Supphozova's no whaify Swan!!! Hard to explain, describing all of this, but the Trocks' Swan Lake is wonderful fun this season, with this cast. Every minute of it is delicious fun.


Then it all went downhill so quickly. I wish I had left after Swan Lake. Whomever recently reviewed the Trocks (in the Times?) was absolutely correct. The other ballets on Program A just weren't very funny. That old Dying Swan was ok, entertaining as it usually is, but the others: Flames of Paris, Esmeralda, and Gaite Parisienne were completely uninspired. Neither funny or interestingly presented via choreography. Just poorly civic.... Oh my. Oh my. I wouldn't recommend this program except for Swan Lake (highly recommended).... and that's very disappointing this year.... I thought the Trocks would never lose steam....

I'm not sure I can brave the new Cage on Program B now.... I know Le Grand Pas De Quatre and Les Sylphides will be good... They've been around for years with excellent staging. Has anybody here on BT seen Program B yet?


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