Reviews of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.
The New York Observer
The FInancial Times
The hardest thing for the Trocks to get right is the balance between authenticity and jokiness. Swan Lake seems too jokey today; Laurencia not jokey enough. The older repertory involves many too many pratfalls, many too many ballerinas knocking each other over, much too much spotlight hogging. The foibles of the old Ballets Russes aren’t relevant any more; the real nonsense of dance today is the pretentiousness of the concept-obsessed avant-garde. But this is a ballet company, comfortable in its après-garde genre and superb at what it does. And its best jokes are as good as ever. When Ida Nevasayneva (Paul Ghiselin) bourrées out from the wings as The Dying Swan, not just dying but seriously molting, it’s ridiculous, it’s hammy, we’ve seen it again and again—and it’s very, very funny.
The new treasure in the Trockadero chest does not offer the usual bounty of ballerina parts. Since the virile Vakhtang Chabukiani choreographed and starred in this 1939 ballet about a proto-proletarian revolt in Spain, Laurencia has served as a vehicle for muscle-bound heroics, a type notably absent from the Trock roster. Its introduction could arguably open up whole new vistas of parody, but only if the Trocks are willing to bend Laurencia to their purposes. Currently they are playing it way too straight.