DRAG BALLET Les Ballets Trockadero

De Monte Carlo

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 22 & Thu 23 Apr :7 :a ~rz

Only killioys and SDOIISDOFIS could resist taking this American, all-male drag ballet troupe to their bosoms. With their mocking monikers, canned music and deliberately tacky production trappings, the Trocks pay exquisite homage to the tarnished glamour of every end-of—the—road, emigrant touring classical company of yore, The dancers perform both male and female roles, each adopting a different pair of alter egos (Maya Thickenthighya and Mikhail Mypansaiov, for Instance). in dOing so, they exhibit the sort of endearing, artful parody that only truly skilled, disCiplined balletomanes can manage,

The standard Trocks programme is structured like a sandWich in between the ensemble pieces that open and close the show is a rich filling of mostly pas de deux Swan Lake, handily reduced to a one-act company Signature piece, is a prime example of the group’s best, broad- based (pun intended) humour Some of the comic convulsions the shows induce are based on the simple, push-button incorporation of throwback pop dance moves into the academic realm Haven’t you always longed to see those sombre swan

Tutu much: Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo

chorines do the hand-Jive and watusi along With the arabesgues? Speaking of fowl play, the Trocks’ rendition of The Dying Swan solo is a priceless piece of moulting mortality defiance, milked for all its WOrth and then some George Balanchine's choreography is delicioust skewered in Vivaldi Suite. There's also a 'mystery’ pas de deux, announced on the night, to keep the audience


The evening ends on an extended note of sheer, gender-melting bliss. In Paquita every faux-female has a crack at glory in a cascade of raVishing style, silliness and non-stop steps Occasionally such a spell is cast you forget that it's blokes in those tutus and toe shoes (Donald Hutera) E Rewewed in London

BALLET Tales Of Hoffmann

Edinburgh: Festival Theatre, Tue 5—Sat 9 May =: \s‘r

The current love of all things 70s and retro in film and fashion may not extend readily to dance Peter Darrell’s Tales Of Hoffmann may have been an eye-opener way back in 1972, but even With newer designs not previously seen in Scotland, it still has a dusty look to it, missing some Vital spark The ballet should be a showcase fOr three ballerinas and two leading men, the central role of Hoffmann particularly being a rare challenge for a male dancer Unfortunately the company doesn't currently have female dancers, and the iniection of ex-Royal Ballet star Adam Cooper in the title role baldly shows up the defiCienCies in the company's men

Even Cooper struggles With the thankless costumes and effete waftings that make the work remarkably like a traditional 19th century ballet rather than a Darrell original For those who like to scale the heights of camp, the first act offers a veritable range of tvlunros —— fussy Wigs, sugary pastel colours and waves of flopping wrists The stories of German fantasist ETA Hoffmann, linked with a theme of eluswe love and eVil manipulation, are gOOd enough, but the scenario seemed to bafer much of the audience, repeatedly flipping through the programme to follow the story

Tales Of Hoffmann: A change from swans and fairies

Confusingly, Cooper does not seem to age through the stories, looking at hzs most innocent and guileless in Act Three, rather than world-weary and cautious.

Ari Takahashi comes off best of the female leads, With a sprightly, well- Judged Olympia, but Nicci Theis never captures the delicacy and charm of Antonia. Anne Christie's Giulietta is'no seductress, and while Cooper dances well, he looks Curiously alien in the piece, leavmg Robert Hampton Winning the acting prizes With the sinister role in each tale

While the corps de ballet struggle With their unison at times, the work moves along in iolly fashion to the Offenbach score. If you’re looking for an undemanding change from swans and fairies, Hoffmann offers a different story in familiar style.

(Don Morris) at Rewewed Theatre Royal Glasgow,

STAR RATINGS a e x at « Unmissable a: ii at Very ood ,. a. & Wort a shot at Below average 3% You've been warned

reviews THEATRE

Stellar Quines


£9 (£5.50)

‘21 beautifully judged production. hugely impressive. should be seen at all costs”





BOXOFFICE 0 I 3| 665 2240

16—30 Apr 1998 THE UST63