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The Trocoderos


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#16 Ari

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Posted 25 April 2002 - 09:04 AM

While I enjoy the Trocks, too, I'm with Leigh in having reservations about taking them seriously, although for a different reason. There are a lot of men in the performing arts taking women's roles these days—male actors playing Cleopatra, male singers impersonating Ethel Merman—and doing it all even more seriously than the Trocks. As a woman, it angers me that men aren't satisfied with dominating most of the world as it is—they want it all. Under this greedy model, women would cease to exist in the arts, let alone be able to increase their already limited participation. Ballet is the one art form I can think of that is female-dominated, at least on stage. I would hate to see men shoulder their way in there, too.

#17 BW

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Posted 26 April 2002 - 05:05 AM

Ari, I really don't think that the Trocks want us to take them seriously in that sense. To me, they are (for the most part) seriouslyfunny. If on the other hand, as Leigh seems to be implying, these dancers truly wish that they were women and that what they really wish is that they could be ballerinas en pointe...well, then I can see how this might make one sad. Since I don't know any of these fellows, I cannot speak to this possible psychological aspect - I hope for their own sakes that this is not true - instead, I will continue to enjoy their poking fun at the sacred. :)

#18 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 26 April 2002 - 07:18 AM

Just to make myself clear on this (and to quote myself from an essay from my own site )

Like drag itself, there's a continuum in drag ballet from flat out comedy, through to imitation and fantasy all the way to wish fulfillment and transformation, at which point it generally ceases to be funny and becomes eerie, at least to me. However, the more one is around any of it, the more one respects the validity of any point on the continuum, even if it's not where you happen to stand. Different strokes, essentially.


People do it for different reasons. I've seen people whose motivation is comic, and I've seen people for whom it's wish-fulfillment and those for whom it's a little of both. I happen to prefer it as comedy.

#19 Manhattnik

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Posted 26 April 2002 - 08:28 AM

I find female impersonation interesting when it's about the idea of being a woman, which really exists quite apart from one's gender. It's a bit of a stretch, but you could argue that a really good female impersonater, like one of the Trocks, shows us everything about a ballerina that isn't merely being female.

That's when I like them the best, when they're showing me, and having fun with, the idea of a ballerina. This isn't at all the same thing as pretending to be a ballerina; when they do the latter, I find it much less interesting, because to be a real one, you need all the trappings, plus being female. The very best I've ever seen a Trock or Grandiva dancer doing a "straight" female role is at about the level of a decent regional company, and I'm just not impressed by a mediocre ballerina of any gender.

And even if a Trock or Grandiva were to turn in a performance indistinguisable in any respect from a "real" woman's, I'd have to say, "what's the point?"

#20 BattementCloche

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 01:12 PM

I saw the Trocks on Bravo last night for the first time, though I missed the first 45 minutes of the show. I watched the rest of it, however (thank goodness I was at my grandparents'; I would have been in bed before it even started at home!).
I think my favourite was probably 'Go for Barocco', which was pure comedy; that seems to be what this group does best. I found their serious works a bit odd, except for their 'Le Corsaire'; I found myself hard pressed to remember that the 'leading lady' wasn't a lady at all!

As a woman, it angers me that men aren't satisfied with dominating most of the world as it is—they want it all. Under this greedy model, women would cease to exist in the arts, let alone be able to increase their already limited participation. Ballet is the one art form I can think of that is female-dominated, at least on stage. I would hate to see men shoulder their way in there, too.

Perhaps what we need is an all-female company that performs classical ballets, with the girls lifting the girls. The only problem would be females' muscular structure; theoretically, they aren't supposed to be able to do such steps as are involved in the more difficult male solos, are they?

#21 Mel Johnson

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 04:55 PM

Remember, in the original ballets de cour, the dancers WERE all men. They had to wear about 250 pounds+ of costume. And in the Paris Opera of the late Second Empire, males were in short supply. Coppélia was premiered with a Franz who was prettier than the Swanilda!

#22 Jayne

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:29 AM

The Trocks are coming to Tacoma, WA on Feb.12 - just emailed my mom asking if she'd like to go. Has anyone else seen them on their west coast swing?


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