Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Monday, October 13, 2008

To Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at MassMoCA on Saturday. MassMoCA is a subject for another day, I think. The Trocks are a troupe of male dancers who perform classical ballet. It's played for laughs, of course, but what's really funny is that the level of technical proficiency is so high. I've certainly seen women professionals that weren't able to dance at this level, and the incongruity of the masculine body form en pointe, although jarring at first, soon becomes an interesting and then agreeable alternate aesthetic. Just the fact that they are able to perform with this sort of proficiency and still work in the physical comedy is nothing short of terrific.

The whole thing is as camp as Susan Sonag's s'mores recipe, but that's the other funny part: for all the slapstick it is only slightly more camp than a regular ballet performance. I suppose the humor is what sells it, but they don't need it to accomplish their artistic purpose. The shtick is there to put the rubes in the seats-- people who love dance are going to find it funnier, and enjoy it more than someone who wanders in expecting Bugs Bunny in a tutu, but both audiences are going to get a kick out of it.

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