TROCKS ROCK: After a seven-year absence, White Bird Dance is delighted to announce the return of the all-male ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Their expert knowledge of classical ballet, their perfect comic timing and the astounding fact that these superbly talented men dance en pointe – and do it magnificently – have won them legions of fans from Asia to Europe, from South America to South Africa, and everywhere in between. Dance critics around the world have hailed them for their uncanny combination of comic antics and virtuoso ballet. The Seattle Times has called them the “clown princes of ballet.”
The Trocks, as they are affectionately known, will present four dances in their Portland program. They will open with their celebrated version of “Le Lac des Cygnes,” act II of Swan Lake, the jewel of 19th Century Russian Ballet and perhaps the world’s best known ballet set to a magical score by Tchaikovsky. This will be followed by a Pas de Deux, to be announced at the performance, and Le Grand Pas de Quatre, which the company describes “as one of the most charming (and silly) evocations of Romantic Ballet in the 1840s.” Concluding the program is Raymonda’s Wedding, originally an elaborate three-act ballet from 1898. The Trockadero version is dubbed “A Traditionally Confusing Divertissement in Two Scenes."
Here is an excerpt of an interview I did with one of the Trocks years ago for Willamette Week:
Jason Hadley started his dancing career in The Nutcracker. But what makes this 5-foot, 9-inch, 150-pound, 28-year-old, Idaho-born non-practicing Mormon stand out in the world of movement today is a new set of nuts he's cracking--his own. Jason's one of the 11 dancers who make up the all-male ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. I asked this classically trained queer, who performs under the nom des tulles "Colette Adae" (call it a day, get it?) what it takes to twirl your toes as a faux Russian dance diva. Here's what he said from his Denver hotel room.
How did you hook up with the Trocks?
Jason Hadley: At 21, I started wearing pointe shoes (the stiff-toed pink slippers worn by ballerinas). I liked the feeling and continued to take pointe classes. I didn't pursue the Trocks until I started living in New York. I saw an audition notice and tried out, and two weeks later I was performing in South Africa.
What makes you a good Trock dancer?
I'm a technically clean dancer who's serious about being funny.
So is it hard on your body to dance like a girl?
Yeah. I'm a stiff, muscular man; women are more graceful and supple. It's a lot more difficult for me to hold my leg above my head. And we perform a lot more than other companies do, so we have the added pressure of constantly having to be in performance shape.
So why do you think the Trocks have such a huge following among straight audiences?
I think drag has always been intriguing to straight people. We have a group of Trock chasers in Japan. They're a bunch of girls who come to every one of our shows. It's not sexual or intimate, but it's fun.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Wednesday, April 2, 7:30pm
Tickets: Starting at $26, available at whitebird.org and Portland’5 Box Office
1111 SW Broadway (formerly PCPA) NO added fees.
1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).
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Last Updated (Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:21)