Edit ModuleShow Tags

Pas de Dudes

Ballet gets the Trock treatment.


It’s a mouthful of a name: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. But its concept, says artistic director Tory Dobrin, is short and sweet: “We’re an all-male comedy ballet company. It’s as simple as that.”

Photo by Sascha Vaghn / Courtesy Les Ballets Trockadero

Classical ballet, with a twist.

With tongue-in-cheek stage names like Ida Nevasayneva, Yakaterina Verbosovich and Jacques d’Aniels, the men of the Ballets Trockadero tour nearly 40 weeks a year to sold-out houses from London to Tokyo. They trot out some of ballet’s most venerable mastodons (think Swan Lake and Balanchine), but en travesti—in other words, in drag.

In an era when cutting-edge ballets tend to be minimalist affairs, these larger-than-life dancers decked out in tulle and size-12 toe shoes are a breath of fresh air. The company, known affectionately as the Trocks, celebrates classical ballet while lampooning its foibles and excesses, complete with pratfalls, flubbed entrances and squabbling divas. You’ve never seen a Swan Lake like this.

Check it Out

Presented by Ballet Hawaii
Hawaii Theatre, Feb. 16 and 17
Call 528-0506 or visit www.hawaiitheatre.com

But behind the loopy parody is rock-solid technical prowess (all female parts are danced en pointe) and knowledge of the art. Last year, the Trocks won the London Critics’ Circle National Award for Classical Repertoire, which recognized the company for the finest classical repertoire of performances in the city that year.

Dobrin tells the story of how the Trocks evolved from a midnight drag ballet show in a Manhattan loft. “I started noticing that all these ‘modern’ ballet companies were coming into New York—you could see a whole evening without any tutu or even classical ballet onstage! I thought, that’s not right!” he says. “So we started doing these Russian classical ballets that no one does anymore, and the critics started really appreciating it, because they wanted to see these works—they didn’t understand why they were being banned to the dustbin of ballet history. And then it just kind of spread.”

That was in 1974. By 2006, says Dobrin, “We were at the Bolshoi Theatre. So I guess that’s a pretty long distance to come.”  
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular Stories

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine May 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags



Colin Nishida, Beloved Chef and Restaurateur, Leaves a Culinary Legacy

Colin Nishida

An entire community remembers the owner of Side Street Inn.


Closing of Popular Lanikai Pillbox Hike Delayed Until Further Notice

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

The state asks for public input as it works to repair the old concrete observation stations on the trail, commonly known as “pillboxes.”


First Look: Panda Dimsum in Kalihi

Panda Dim Sum

Frogs, hedgehogs and bees, oh my! This spot dishes up cute, Instagrammable dumplings.


Kaimukī Gets da Shop, a New Kind of Bookstore and Event Space

Da Shop

It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too.


20 Great O‘ahu Hikes

Explore 20 great adventures that offer beautiful vistas, waterfalls and more.



Edit ModuleShow Tags