But despite what the Trocs' overall mission might be (i.e., to elicit laughter), I know--in line with Cargill's larger claim--that some of the dancers take their (point)work quite seriously.
Very seriously, according to this New York Times profile of the Trocs' then ballet mistress, Pamela Pribisco: "Teaching Hairy Guys in Tutus How to Take Flight"
'Pam began teaching us these point classes, the kind you would teach to young little girls,'' said Paul Ghiselin, who was already a member of the company when Ms. Pribisco came on the scene. ''During the year it takes you to get into the shoes, you have your good days and your bad days. Initially for me, they were all bad because I had not yet developed corns and bunions. I left class screaming.''
Still, he continued, ''after just a few grueling weeks I felt so much change come into the company. It was a huge transition: we were so much cleaner, so much stronger. And she understands the stage very well. She's not one of these big drama people.''
Fernando Medina Gallego, a k a Sveltlana Lofatkina, thought point looked easy before joining the Trocks nearly four years ago: ''When you are classically trained and you see the girls doing it, you think, 'Well, it doesn't seem so difficult.' Then you get the point shoes on, and you know otherwise. When I'm dancing in a tutu, I imagine that now I have to look like a ballerina. But what is telling me I'm a ballerina is the pain in my feet.''
Towards the end of this slideshow, you can see a picture of Ms Pribisco in rehearsal, with a pair of hairy legs and big feet en pointe in the foreground: "Men en Pointe"
The Trocs train their gimlet eye on more than just old-school Russian ballet. They do great (and loving) send ups of Merce Cunningham & John Cage, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins. The best part of the Cunningham send up ("Patterns in Space") are the musicians (played by a couple of Trocks in avant garde togs), who shake pill bottles and the like with tremendous concentration. There are worse ways to learn about style than watching the Trocs.
What the Trocs don't do is dance on pointe the way men might if it were a part of their technical armamentarium. It's an interesting thought experiment to imagine how Western dance might have been different had ballet put men on pointe, too.